As the Shamans of Ancient Mexico put it, Death stalks us; meaning its potential as an event of imminence in our lives is ever-present. It’s not being morbid to think in these ways. It’s only morbid if we find ourselves irresistibly attracted to the concept of our death, or more so, to the concept of ending our life. But this article is not about death. It’s about life. And life’s about making the most of every day that the Lord gives us as a precious gift.
Here are ten things we ought to seriously do this day, today, before we die:
1. Tell someone you love just that: “I love you.” It shouldn’t seem so hard to do, but for many of us it is. Even if our “I love you” is awkward, or even embarrassing, it’s something we won’t ever regret on the other side of precipice.
2. Do something kind so God can prove to you, afresh, the blessing it is to be a blessing. Kindness is its own reward. It does something uniquely beautiful in us. Kindness is a proof that God does exist by his Presence in our experience.
3. Find a sunrise or sunset. Watch and marvel at the wondrous creation as it operates like clockwork. From time immemorial until now, yes, the instant these words are read, the cusp of the present, God’s universe runs interminably without need of divine intervention.
4. Say sorry to someone. Anyone. What a blessing it is, from God, when we find something to be genuinely sorry about. Apologising requires humility, and humility is always a blessing. Saying sorry is a very practical love in the truth of relational transaction.
5. Look at life. Just look at it. Take a few pensive seconds to observe. Allow life in all its variegated splendour and madness to captivate your consciousness. Be mindful. Can you just accept what you see?
6. Consider what you’ve achieved. Where has your life made impact thus far? What would you choose to achieve if there were no barrier? Remove the barriers. Make it come to pass.
7. Thank God for your parents, grandparents and their parents. No matter how good or bad life’s been, no matter how good or bad your upbringing was, or your familial relationships, there would be no ‘you’ without them. Give God your thanks for his gift of them to you.
8. Decide to do something new — something you’ve not done before or in such a long time. Opening your mind is opening your heart is opening your life. These days are new moments, and new moments are pregnant with possibility. Delimit your imagination.
9. Commit to eradicating one bad habit. You know how much you daily regret that bad habit that controls your life right now. Make a plan to live without it. Set a date when you’ll embark on a new path. Write up a strategy. And endeavour to know what drives the habit so you can ensure the habit you use to replace the bad habit reinforces what’s healthy.
10. Ask God to make himself real in your experience. Whether we believe in God or not, and whether we even think the divine is important or not, is irrelevant. If God exists we will all soon meet him. ‘If’ is a range of probability from impossible to certain, but remember impossible is only one location at one extremity along the whole continuum. That means ‘impossible’ is a very rare or very small probability — never good odds. What if you meet God but never planned or prepared for such a meeting. It’s an infinitely better wisdom to seek to know God now. He knows you.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.