Live Like You Were Dying
The song running through my head right now is Please Mr. Postman... except in my head, it's "Please Mr. FedEx-Man (or "FedEx-Person"). According to Mr. Jobs and the FedEx tracking site, my new iPad is on the truck out to be delivered. Well, it's not a new iPad-- it's actually a refurbished old iPad that was marked down $150 to get rid of it to make room for the iPad2. I could have gotten one of those, but it would be worldly and ridiculous to spend that much money on a new something I really don't need. It just seems somehow more holy to spend $150 less on an old something that I really don't need. At any rate, here's the song that should be playing in my head--
The song is Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." That is the point of the Bible class I'm teaching tonight (based on chapter 2 of Francis Chan's book Crazy Love). You see, once we understand who God really is (our last lesson), then we need to understand that today may be the day that we meet Him. In other words, we need to live like we were dying. In McGraw's song, he is talking to a man that found out in his forties that he just might be dying. So McGraw asks, "How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news? Man whatcha do?" The chorus is the dying man's answer and the point of the song--
An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'."
The man sees it as a blessing to know that he's dying, because that allows him to live more like
he was meant to live. Well, not that he was necessarily meant to go mountain climbing, ride a bull named Fu Man Chu, or jump out of a perfectly good airplane. It changed him in more important ways as well.
He said "I was finally the husband That most the time I wasn’t.
An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all of a sudden goin' fishin’ wasn’t such an imposition,
And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
Well, I finally read the Good Book and I took a good long hard look,
At what I'd do if I could do it all again."
So the secret to living is really living like we know we are dying. There's something that rings true there. David says this in Psalm 39:4-5
4 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,even those who seem secure.
If we really see that we are dying, that should change how we live. If we know that our days are numbered, then maybe we'd use the time we have left doing things more even important than rising bulls or jumping out of airplanes... or sitting around waiting for the FedEx-Person. My Dad used to quote Eccl. 9:10 ("Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might") as if to say "Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well." That text has a much finer edge on it if you complete the author's thought, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." In order words, whatever you do, do it now because now may be all the time you have left. Live like you were dying.
To quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that." Excuse me while I go look outside one more time... I think I just heard a truck!"