I have way too many loved ones who are facing very serious illnesses right now. From my father-in-law and his melanoma to my 18 month old little friend fighting a tumor on his liver (and so many more people in between), I'm absolutely sick of sickness.
Of course, there are things we can do. We should pray for those who are sick. Pray for healing. Pray for the presence of God in their lives as they struggle. And we should serve them well, looking for every opportunity to love and care for their needs.
But we should also learn from them.
We must let their lives and how they are living them right now serve as a reminder to all of us. Because I know this for certain: those who have been told by doctors that there is a chance that their lives will be cut short by their illnesses are living each day a lot differently than the rest of us. You know this is true.
Those who have an uncertain future are making the most of every moment that God gives them. They are loving their spouses and their friends and their kids & grandkids with a renewed intensity. They are focused upon making the most of every day; on making sure they live with no regrets. They aren't wasting a lot of time on petty arguments and small issues that ultimately don't matter.
So why are the rest of us living our lives any differently? Oh yeah....it's because we have plenty of time.
Here's a news flash: We're all terminally ill. Our days are numbered. So whether we think we have 50 or 5 years to live, our time is short. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. We would all do well to "live like we are dying."
With that in mind, I love the interview that I saw on the TODAY show yesterday. It is of a dad who has been in the habit of writing notes on napkins that he has put in his daughter's school lunch for years. She is now in the 8th grade. Since he has been diagnosed with cancer, he went ahead and wrote nearly 900 more and stored them away so that she will have them until graduation, just in case he dies. You can watch the brief video here.
You know those things that you would do if you were told you only had a few years to live? You should do them. Don't wait until time is short and you have to scramble to get them done.
Write those letters. Mend that relationship. Make that call. Renew those vows. Take that trip. Get out your relational bucket list and get to work.
Because none of us is getting out of here alive.
Q. What might you do today if you knew you were not guaranteed a tomorrow?
*You can get a free download of the first three chapters of my new book, The Talk(s): A Parent's Guide to Critical Conversations about Sex, Dating, and Other Unmentionables. The book has been developed to assist parents as they help their kids navigate our hyper-sexualized culture. The Talk(s) will be released in late February.
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