Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handsbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Psalm 39:4-5
Years ago, when I was in middle school, I had my first brush with death. My granddaddy George had died. He had been ill for quite some time; it was expected. But it was still unreal… until a few days later when I walked into the funeral parlor and saw him lying in his casket. It was as if he was only sleeping, and that all the noise might wake him up.
But I knew it wouldn’t.
There have been many more brushes with death since; there will be many more. All have served to remind me of one painful truth…
Life is short.
Most of us have already experienced a brush with death due to the passing of someone close to us. If you’re one of the few who hasn’t… you will. It’s hard enough when someone dies and we’re prepared for it and are expecting it. But, at least for me, it is much harder to process death that shouldn’t have been: my friend Mike Lease (who helped start our church) died in a plane crash at the age of 24, just one month shy of the birth of his son; my uncle died from adrenal cancer in his 40’s—he lived for 9 weeks after his initial diagnosis. Many of us could list our own encounters with death that shouldn’t have been. When we’re directly involved, it takes time to cope with and process our loss. But let’s be honest—when it’s the loved one of a friend or the loved one of a co-worker, we feel sadness for awhile… but then it’s usually back to life as usual.
If you had 30 days to live–if you knew that June 5, 2008 would be your last day of life on planet earth–how would you change your life? What would you do and say differently?
Now… what are you waiting for?