Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. [Psalm 90:12 (TLB)]
The future starts today, not tomorrow. [Pope John Paul II]
“What’s on your bucket list? … What would you do if you had only month to live?” asked our Pastor as he started a new series about having a “no regrets” life. I have a friend whose immediate answer would be, “Start smoking again!” Not wanting to do that, I’ve pondered Pastor’s question for days and can’t come up with a decisive list. It’s not that I’ve lived an incredibly fantastic life full of exotic journeys and daring activities; I haven’t—there are many places I haven’t been and numerous things I haven’t done. Am I dreadfully boring and passionless because there is no adventure I’d crave and no faraway place I’d feel the need to visit when facing imminent death? Granted, I would spend a few minutes straightening my drawers and closets so no would know what a secret slob I truly am. The rest of my time, however, I wouldn’t waste on cleaning, adventure or travel. I would spend it doing pretty much the same things I do every day but with family near instead of thousands of miles distant.
If I had only thirty days to live, my regrets would have nothing to do with places unseen and things undone; they would however, have everything to do with time wasted—time wasted being angry, hurt, critical, disappointed, argumentative, offended, pessimistic or grumpy. That’s time that could have been invested in being forgiving, loving, compassionate, generous, positive, helpful, understanding, pleasant and peaceful. Time, of course, is more precious than money. If we want to have enough money, we invest it wisely, spend it prudently and try not to waste it. Why, I wonder, are we so willing to thoughtlessly spend (and even waste) our time when we could be investing it? Granted, time doesn’t grow the way money can but, when invested wisely, it can bear beautiful fruit and give us a “no regrets” life.
For all any of us know, we may have even less than thirty days in which to live. How do you plan on investing your time?
Everyone knows they’re going to die…but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. … To know you’re going to die and be prepared for it at any time. That’s better. That way you can be actually be more involved in your life while you’re living. . . Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, “Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?” … Learn how to die, and you learn how to live. [Morrie Schwartz in “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom]