You're Going to Die

I know, I know. The title just makes you want to dive right in, doesn't it? But I'll try to keep it from being too depressing. Just hang on...

I have regular brushes with death. Some would say they're imaginary, but they seem very real to me. I can be a bit of a hypochondriac, if you can believe that. But, every few months, I decide that I probably have some terrible disease and I'm probably not going to make it another year. I've actually gotten better at talking myself out of most of these instances, but last week a doctor discovered the potentially deadly problem instead of me, which made it seem a little more real. (For once, I go to the doctor NOT worried that it's anything life-threatening, and I leave in a panic.) After finding a suspicious looking spot on my x-ray, she made the comment, "We always find these things when we're not looking for them." From that point on, I didn't hear anything she said. I'm just thinking, "What things? Deadly things? Cancer?" So, I left pretty ticked off that she had taken a routine, non-worrisome visit and made it into an anxiety-ridden death sentence.

I do tend to get a little ahead of myself and think the worst, if you haven't noticed. I attribute this to my stronghold of fear and the plethora of tragic stories you read about online. (Dadgum blogs and caring bridge.) Nevertheless, my pessimistic side took over, and I spent the next several days trying to focus on God and not be overcome with fear and worry. But here is my point in this revelation of my craziness: Why does my perspective on life change so radically when I am presented with a remote possibility of impending death?

On the days when I am convinced that I am not much longer for this earth, I love my kids so deeply. I am not so easily annoyed and frustrated by the dirty laundry, the screaming baby, or the crumb-covered kitchen floor. I forgive my husband for being messy and forgetful much more quickly. I appreciate all the little blessings of life, like snuggles and good books, and don't completely flip out over having to pay an air conditioning repair bill. I am focused on Christ and eternity, asking myself if I really believe what I believe and if it will really bring me peace and joy no matter what? Is He enough? And, most of all, I think, "If I'm going to die, I need to talk to more people about Jesus. Who cares what they think? I'll be dead soon." So all of this left me wondering, why do we not live everyday like we're dying? Because, guess what? We are.

Why have I spent 10 years thinking I should share my testimony with someone, yet I've never done it? Why do I sweat the small stuff, like retirement money and college tuition for three kids? Why don't I pour every second of my day into living for my King without caring what the world, or my family, or my neighbors, or my friends think? Why don't we, as the great theologian Tim McGraw says, live like we're dying? Why do I not live each day so that when I do die, I have no regrets? So that I can stand before my Lord and hear, "Well done." Yet, even though I have contemplated all these things, I still don't always act on it. I quickly slip back into my humdrum, everyday life with all my reservations about sharing my faith and distractions from kingdom work. I hope I can get the hang of this thing before my days on earth really do come to an end. How horrible to waste the opportunities God has given me.

You will be glad to know (I hope), I am not currently dying of cancer or any other horrifying disease (that I know of), but I sure would love to live like I am.


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