You know that question, “If you had one week to live what would you do?”...
We answer with something noble like, “Tell my family I love them.” or “Give all my money to the poor.” or maybe we get suddenly adventurous, “I would sky dive or Travel to that place I’ve always dreamed of.”. The answers might be different but the result is the same. We would do SOMETHING. The vast majority would not be alone. We would not hide away and sit in a room for a week just waiting. We would go, we would do, we would speak.
36 Days ago my older brother got married. My whole family was together (which is rare since we are spread all through out the country). My dad performed the marriage ceremony. He complained of some headaches and flu like symptoms but for the most part was good. Even playing horseshoes with my brothers and joking and laughing.
After the weekend wedding his headaches persisted and got worse.
20 days ago he checked himself into the hospital. Within a few days they found the culprit to the pain. 25 plus tumors throughout his body. 15 plus in his brain alone. Stage 4, Melanoma cancer. No cure. No treatment and no operation could help. They gave him days, maybe weeks to live.
14 days. From the time he checked himself into the hospital until he died, 14 days. Most of which he was asleep and on pain meds.
I spent the majority of those 14 days sitting with my dad. Crying out for a miracle and worshiping while I held his hand. One day he woke up, looked at me and said, “I just wish I had more time with you.” I cupped his head in my hands and looked right in his eyes, “Dad, you have had 60 amazing years on this earth. You have done so much. Served so many. I got to be with you 32 of those years! You were a good dad and an amazing papa to Polly. Dad, we get to spend eternity together with Jesus. It’s ok. It’s ok.”
“If you had a week to live what would you do?” This question is more haunting to me than ever before. For my dad, there was no last minute adventure and not too many last words. However, he had 60 years! 60 years to live, to love, to serve, to travel, to forgive, to say all he needed to say, to be everything he dreamed to be.
Let’s stop asking that question. Honestly, if we are waiting until the last week we have missed our chance. Let’s just start living with the end in mind. Zoom out to the finish line (considering none of us know when that time will be) and ask, “Am I living in a way that will honor the end?” “Am I pleasing God with my time?” “Are my priorities in order?” “Will I finish strong?”
2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11] and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 ] Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13] Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15] All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”