My friends are dying. I’m dying. In fact, we are all dying. Oh don’t panic! I’m not sick. Nothing like that.
Everyday, we wake up. We are alive and we push the idea of death as far away as possible. However, death is very near. I noticed it in Zambia where disease was rampant and there were no ambulances. Poor medical knowledge and a scarcity of medicines meant many people died and there were many funerals.
Even in the first world, tragic accidents happen. I got news last week that one of my high school friends in London, England suddenly died of a brain hemorrhage.
So what to do? I remember Steve Brown, my favourite Bible teacher, used to say when you wake up in the night and death is staring you in the face, stare back as long as possible, then turn away and go watch TV. His premise is that the more acquainted we are with death, the less we fear it. Jesus reminds us not to fear anything or anyone that can kill the body, but instead, let’s empty ourselves and give ourselves over to God. That’s why Jesus died. So we don’t have to be afraid to die. Because He gives us life beyond existing and surviving…a life that is full and fulfilling and a hope of a life with Him FOREVER.
Myles Munroe, famous Bahamian pastor, said, “Don’t die old. Die empty.” Paul says it like this in 1 Timothy, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
My dear friends, Donvan, Eunice and Laverne, finished their race and responded to God’s call home. I feel like anytime, we may be called home. In the meantime, let me encourage you to live like it’s your last day here on earth. Here are some ideas:
1. Say Goodbye Well Every Day.
When I joined my husband’s family, I noticed that every time his father went out, he would kiss his wife goodbye. It was a sweet habit that Gilbert and I adopted. It’s a reminder that we love each other and if anything happened to either of us, that would be a good last memory of each other.
2. Forgive People Readily And Quickly.
Life is too short to carry unforgiveness and have barriers between people. For believers especially, Jesus tells us that if there are issues between us, we must get them sorted out and then we can worship God to the fullest extent.
3. Write Notes Or Send Flowers To People You Appreciate.
Send them now so people can enjoy them. Don’t wait for their funeral.
4. Call Your Mother or Father or Friend.
Why are we so hesitant to call people? Okay, text them. Don’t worry that you’re interrupting them. People love that you are thinking of them. Just connect. But I know…. you’re busy.
5. Gather With Your Loved Ones and Make Happy Memories.
One friend began having family reunions at Christmas because she said, “We were only seeing each other at funerals. It was too sad. I want us to make happy memories together too.”
6. Give Away Your Possessions.
I have many friends who are downsizing. It’s a great chance to give away family heirlooms to people while you can still share the stories about why they are significant. It also reminds us that when we die, we will take nothing with us and so we should hold onto our material possessions lightly.
7. Live Wisely.
Let’s be careful with our time and opportunities and try not to waste either. Make the most of the blessings and sunshine God has poured into us and spread them around to others. We might not get another chance.By Lydia Nigh