What if you were told today that you only have five years to live, what would you do? I have known people who were given such a bleak prognosis from doctors and some of them lived far beyond that timeframe while others lived far less than their given timeframe. The truth is that none of us are sure when God will call us home and so we need to be mindful of our time on earth and live every day the best that we know how to live! I think that if I were given a prognosis of five years to live I would first of all rejoice! I would know that being with Jesus is a whole lot more fun than living here on earth. But after the initial reaction I would probably develop a bucket list of things that I want to do and see before my death. Here is some of my bucket list.
1). First of all I want to see the Grand Canyon. It is a place I have often heard about but never have had the privilege to see. I know that it is big and hot and red but honestly that is about all I know about it. I have seen the Tetons and the Rocky Mountains and I have lived in the Mojave Desert as well as the forests of Alabama. I have a feeling that the Grand Canyon will outshine them all.
2). I also want to take my family to Disneyland again. My son and granddaughter would love all the rides and things we could do and see there. I remember taking my two eldest children there when they were three and six and my parents came as well. We had such a good time and fun memories from that trip. Yes, I want all my children and in-laws and granddaughter to come with me on this trip to California!
3). I want to read Democracy In America and The History The Decline And Fall of The Roman Empire before I die. Call me a nerd if you want to but I bought these years ago and I really want to read them before I die. It will probably take all five years to get this goal accomplished!
4). I would want to make each of my children and their families a quilt. I am not a great seamstress but I do like to make quilts and I love to design each one specifically with someone in mind. I would want them to have something to remember me by as well and a handmade quilt is a great gift and remembrance. I still have the one my great-grandmother made me when I graduated from high school and she has been gone quite a number of years. Yet I know she sewed each stitch with love and prayers for me. I want to do the same for my family.
5). I would want to make a list of all the things I need to teach my son and my granddaughter so that they are both well prepared for life. And I think the best way to achieve this is to write a book about our family history and leave it for them to read once I am gone. My Mom left notes on paper that I have enjoyed reading since her passing, things I never knew about her or my family and that is a very personal and special remembrance, a treasure!
6). I should probably write down all those recipes that I make, things my family has enjoyed eating especially since I don’t use a recipe for many of them. I think that every family should have a recipe collection to refer to when wanting to make something like Mom made it! My Mom was a great cook and she left her recipes to me and I love them!
7). I would also want to attend church and Sunday School every Sunday just as I do now because my faith is important to me and I am sure that it would become even more important if I were given only five years to live.
8). I would also want to clean out my junk. I have a lot of stuff that will mean nothing to anyone else and so I think it would only be fair to deal with it, sell it, give it away, or throw it out so that my children don’t have to do it after I am gone. They have their own stuff to contend with so why leave them all of mine to sort through. Fair is fair I think!
9). I would want to continue making music, playing the piano, singing, and getting others to come make music with me as well. I would probably need the practice for the heavenly choir and band!
10). Last, but certainly not least, I would also want to give a testimony to anyone who would listen to me about Jesus, can’t imagine life without Him!
Somehow I think that if we all were given a timeframe for our death that we would be more productive in our daily lives. We would probably also be more forgiving and gracious to others as well. You know the Bible tells us to be ready because we never know when our Master will come for us.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:10-12, (English Standard Version or ESV).
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:36-44, (ESV).
We are reminded in Psalm 90 that our time on earth is limited to a certain number of years and that we will die when those years have passed. We don’t live forever until our physical death takes place and we pass into eternity where we will never die again. But we are also reminded in Matthew 24 that only God knows the time of Christ’s return to call the church as His bride and to judge the sins of the world. So whether we die a physical death or whether we join Jesus in the sky we are to give thought to our lives and always be on the lookout for one or the other event to take place. Life is fragile but we are to continue living it with joyfulness and rejoicing because we Christians have a confidence no one can take from us that we will one day be with Jesus. Maybe if we all thought that we only had five years to live we would live our lives with eternity in mind and where we want to spend eternity. It would make a difference I think, don’t you?