Today, March 13, I’m setting a personal record for most days lived, but I never thought I’d live this long.
Here are a few reasons why I figured I’d be with Jesus by now:
- Everything in my life came early. Married at 18. Managing people at 19. First kid at 21. First pastoring job at 21. Oh, and prostate cancer at 53.
- I tend to live on the edge. Full throttle is normal for me. Taking risks is fun in my book. (Yes, I am an adrenaline junky). If my mother only knew some of the crazy stunts I’ve survived.
- My dad died at 63, his dad died in his mid-sixties, and his brother died before him at 65.
I always had it in my head that it’d be a miracle if I even made sixty. But here I am, sixty-four and still above ground. Go figure.
Okay, why all this depressing, morbid stuff?
Something happened in my heart this morning: I’ve accepted that I’m absolutely in the last third of my life, but it’s okay.
I may live to be a hundred. (But unless docs figure out how to do a spine transplant, I hope not.)
I might only live another month, year, decade, or two—I don’t know—but it’s okay.
Whenever that final day comes, what matters most is that I’ve run my race and finished the course. No race is run perfectly. I’ve made 10,000 mistakes along the way (give or take a thousand). And that's okay too. 🙂
If I chose to, I could live consumed by regrets. When you’ve lived over 23,000 days and well over half a million hours, you can point to many things that didn’t go well.
But if you’re an aging boomer like me (or any age, really), I encourage you to spend more time investing in today and looking forward to your future rather than looking back.
We can’t change what was, only what is and what may be.
I love this quote by the famous Dallas Cowboy football coach Tom Landry: “Today, you have 100% of your time left.”
Think about it. Today is all you have for certain. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
So today . . .
- Today, you can invest in the relationships you have and make new ones. You can call your kids or grandkids, take your BFF out to lunch, or go for a long walk with your spouse.
- Today, you can learn something new. Turn off the idiot box. Read a book. (Did you know science has proved reading is good for your emotions and your brain?) You can do some research on a topic you know nothing about but have always wondered about. You can pull out that Spanish dictionary and learn some new words. Never stop learning.
- Today, you can finish that project you keep putting off until “tomorrow.”
- Today, you can get started writing that book you’ve always wanted to write. (Everyone has a story.)
- Today, you can choose to forgive that person, and if possible, attempt reconciliation. Let forgiveness and kindness be what they remember about you.
Okay, I’ve gotta go.
I’m on the last chapter of the first novel I’m writing. So, today I want to finish the draft because today might be all the time I have left. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll write another ten or twenty books before I go home.
Only Jesus knows, but it’s okay—I’m okay!
How about you?
So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps.
Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does.
Instead, walk as the wise!
Make the most of every living and breathing moment…
Ephesians 5:15-16 (The Voice)