Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted…Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it.”
1 Peter 4: 7, 8 (The Message)
As the morning sun begins to peak through the night, I can’t get it out of my mind. A family I know whose lives and world as they knew it has been turned upside down. And so I have chosen this morning to share from the archive of “Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…” one from a number of years ago.
I need you to pray for me.
My latest visit to the doctor of a few weeks ago gave no indication of any problem or concern. The blood tests were on the good side of the normal range. My doctor—a great guy I have known for years—couldn’t put his professionally trained finger on any particular problem, but as I sat there talking with him I realized again—that I was dying. It was unnerving to say the least.
I may have six months to live, or less. I may have a year, or many more. But whatever time is left, I now know it’s not forever. My Bride, Lynda, and I don’t talk about it, but I know we have both thought about it at times. I suspect some of you—if you’re really honest—have been in the same place with your own thoughts and lives.
So here’s how I would like for you to pray for me today. In the words of a song by country and western singer, Tim McGraw, pray that in the time I have left on this earth, I would—“Live Like I am Dying.” Words he sang that he hoped his Dad would have wanted to have said to him. A Dad—baseball great pitcher Tug McGraw—whom he never got to know until very late in life when they discovered that his Dad had less than a year to live. Listen:
“I was in my early forties, with a lot of life before me,
and a moment came that stopped me on a dime”…
And I asked him…‘When it sank in that this might really be the real end,
man what did you do?’
He said…‘I was finally the husband that most of the time I wasn’t, and…
I became a friend a friend would like to have…
I finally read the Good Book, and took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again, and then…
I went sky diving, I went Rocky Mountain climbing,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu,
And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.
And he said…
‘Someday I hope you get the chance, to live like you are dying.’”
It was a sobering moment at the doctor’s office a few weeks ago. But the truth is that I am dying. We all are. We have no assurances as to when we will take that last breath. As for me there is nothing pointing to anything that is specifically wrong. Six months, or less; perhaps a year, or many, many more. I just don’t know.
You don’t know either—for you.
But what we do know is that we’re not getting any younger. We know we don’t have forever in this life, and moments which we let pass us by, often won’t circle around for a second chance. Despite our good intentions, efforts, and accomplishments to this point, there are still things we’ve always wanted to do, and many, many more we should have done long ago—which are still waiting to be done.
People I should have forgiven, remain unforgiven. People from whom I should seek forgiveness, still waiting. Lives I should love and touch, still unloved and untouched. Adventures to begin, mountains to climb, bulls to ride, books to read, careers to strike out on, family and friends to cherish with words sweeter and love deeper—still not done and looming before me in the days I have left before I step into eternity.
I suspect there are some of you reading this who would say you wouldn’t do anything differently if you knew a time certain was remaining in your life.
Because I suspect, even you would notice in those last days—that food tasted sweeter, breezes seemed softer, the woman you love seems more beautiful and precious, your husband is much better that you ever gave him credit for, the children you raised and those you’ve adopted as in-laws don’t disappoint or mess up decisions as much as you used to think they did, your grandchildren really do have halos around their precious heads (this, though, has always been obvious), and real friends remain friends in spite of us.
So today, please pray for me that I will—
“Live the rest of my life…like I am dying.”
And I’ll pray for you as you sky dive, get ready to ride that bull named “Fu Manchu” or begin for once to do all those other things you need to do—as if your life depended on it.
Have a great time—in the rest of your life.
In His Name—Scott