I write a note in my calendar on the first day of each month: “What would I do with today if I knew it was the last day of my life as I have known it?” God calls me to embrace the question and live into the answers it generates.
I start with the obvious: What would I choose to do today if I knew it was my last day before dying? Far from being morbid, the question helps me refocus on what’s most important: relationships, prayer, acts of service, helping the helpless, and being thankful for the gift of life. When I act as if I have twenty-four hours in which to live, I find it a little easier to devote those hours to what I believe matters to God.
Sometimes I take a different tact with regard to the question: What if this is the last day before my life changes drastically? I ask myself what I would do if I knew this was my last day on the job. What if this was the last day before my church experienced a severe conflict, my health failed, my financial life tanked, or all my relational support systems short-circuited? If I knew they were coming, what might I do with the last day before such life changes occurred?
Honestly, I don’t suppose I actually know the answer to these questions, but I hope my choices would make the most of the time at hand. It turns out that my list of priorities for the day looks about the same no matter which version of the question I ask: relationships, prayer, acts of service, helping the helpless, and being thankful for the gift of life.
The more I accept the fact that neither the ways of my life nor my physical life itself will last forever, the more eager I become to live the Christ life today.
What actions would I take now if I knew life as I’ve known it was about to change drastically? Might I decide to experiment by taking such actions today?
Help me, Lord, to treat today as your gift to me, and to use it accordingly. Amen.