There is a song by a Country music singer that has lyrics with the potential to influence perspective on living each day to the fullest. A poor diagnosis can change one’s perspective and shift priorities for many, if not all. We do not know what life will be like tomorrow, James 4:14a.
Verse: He said,
“I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”
I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”
Chorus: He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”
Verse: He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again
Chorus repeated… ~ Tim McGraw
If you notice in this song, the man received news that altered his existence (stopped life on a dime). Taking in account the news that he had a progressive illness with a very poor prognosis, the man started to live each day as if it were his last. What will it take for you to live each day as if it were your last? What would that look like? Would you do like the man in the song? His days became sweeter. He began to check-off items on his bucket list: skydiving, mountain climbing, riding a bull, and going fishing. He renewed his commitment to loving deeper and talking sweeter, and giving forgiveness that he had refused to give in the past. He finally read the bible. His relationships became a priority. After assessing them, he realized that he needed to be a better son, husband and friend. Finally, he began to muse over his life with remorse… only if I could do it all again.
When I think of the finality of each day with this man, I asked myself do I live each day as if it were my last. I asked myself what would that look like in the life of a believer. Before the current days of pandemic, COvid-19 and quarantine, my life-lense was narrow with less depth of field. My attempt to look past tomorrow extensively into future destinies was futile. As I experienced each day, by mid-noon, that day was already becoming yesterday. I was already living into tomorrow with plans, worries, anxieties, and celebrations. My afternoons and evenings were filled with “what will I do tomorrow” concerning blah, blah, and blah… you fill in the blank? I neglected to live according to Matthew 6:27 and 34, 27 “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” and 34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. There are times when I am anxiety-driven with excessive worry about the “what if’s” and “what abouts”, and “what will I do” rather than to allow the Lord’s peace to reign in my life. I cannot rest comfortably in today’s peace for borrowing tomorrows troubles.
Lord I thank you for causing ALL things to work together for good to those who love YOU, to those who are called according to YOUR purpose, Romans 8:28. Somewhere within these last eight weeks, my life-lense has become broader with greater depth of field. I don’t gaze so far into my future endeavors but I live in the moment with a broader scope ‘taking in’ the advantages as well as the disadvantages, the splendor and the unattractiveness, also the captivating moments as well as the repelling ones. Life is so much simpler when walking with faith as my retina. If I allow faith to drive my destiny, my only future gaze is eternity. “So we fix our eyes on not what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 2:18.
I do not know if I would do any rocky mountain climbing, riding bulls, or even fishing for that matter, but there are some things that I would like to do before I transition into my eternal life that I have put off for another day. There are words that I want to say and questions that I want to ask, but have not because of fear. Anticipatory anxiety has been my retina far too long. It is time for me to put to rest life-imbalances, worry, stressful and distracting thoughts to replace them with greater faith, peaceful thinking, and daily contentment. Don’t just live for today, but live for God while living today. Pray for me. 🙂
Finally, planning is essential to life on earth, but that’s beyond current context.
C.S. Lewis, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.” Hmm….
The journey flows…