I have been thinking a lot about how I am living my life, and what kind of legacy I want to leave. All around me, I see people in pain, both physically and emotionally. I just heard of another shooting or rampage from reading one of my friend’s Facebook news feed; the government in my country seems to be in constant turmoil, and just the anger around me, seem to tell me that there has to be more to this life than I can see. I am not getting any younger, though many people may consider me to be still young (note to them: Thank you for your generous outlook on me. 😉 ) I realize that I won’t likely live forever.
So, in light of that, I posed a question to myself: If today was my last day to live on earth, what would I do? How would I spend it? Would I consider doing anything differently? This post is also based on the verses in Ephesians 5:15-16:
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (KJV)
Here’s what I would do, and the lessons I draw on redeeming the time that I still have now:
- If today was the last day of my life on earth, I would tell my family and friends that I encounter, both online and offline, how much God and I love them, and how valued they are. I would also thank them for all they have done for me, to make my life better. — Too many times, we let days, or even, sadly, many years, go by without really taking time to value and thank those around us who have made a positive impact in our lives. I would also let my family and friends I encounter know that they are loved and valued by me, both by my words and my actions. In other words, I would spend most of the day serving them with joy and gratitude. I think we (me included) need to do a better job of doing this every single day, because the fact is that we don’t know when our “last day” is. It could be tomorrow, next week, next year, five, ten, fifteen, or more years from now. I think we are not given knowledge of when our last day on earth is because if we were, we would probably waste our other days and just revel in whatever, without doing anything of eternal value, or at least that would be the great temptation. Since we are not given that knowledge, we are more able to serve others sincerely and with our whole hearts, if we really think about the limited nature of our beings.
- If today was my last day on earth, I would not waste time getting angry at trivial things, or things that wouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.—I have observed that many times we, as humans, get upset about the little things people do or don’t do or say, that if we died wouldn’t be a big deal at all. For instance, a lot of people would get upset if a friend of theirs seemed to ignore them when they said “Hi” to their friend. First of all, the friend may be busy or may not have noticed that they said “Hi”at all. Second of all, if this friend who “purposely” ignored you, was a good friend in other instances, like he or she was there for you when someone you loved died, wouldn’t it be a good idea to just let this go? If I knew my life was limited, I would not worry about or even consider being upset at such things. Also, some of the things that people get angry or upset about reflect, not only their own self-absorption, but also that they are not thinking about how limited and precious life is. For instance, to my shame, I got upset at a co-worker over something so trivial and so selfish on my part, that, in retrospect, I should have just let it go and focused on other, more important eternal things, rather than my own comfort. If a few people don’t appreciate the effort I put into work, I would instead focus on the people that do care and not worry about pleasing or getting upset over the 5% (I’m just picking out a random, small number, to make a point.) that don’t. If there is a cranky customer who just wants to get it out for everyone else, I would just feel sad for them and pray for them, instead of getting upset at them myself.
- If today was my last day on earth, I would spend most of my day:
- Spending time with God (40% of my day)—I would spend more time with God in prayer and in reading and listening to what He has to say via His Word (the Bible). I would want to prepare my heart and soul, for what I believe would be a glorious and awesome eternity with Him! However, I would also want to make sure that there was no unsettled business between God and me, or between God, me, and another person. I would seek forgiveness for any sins (moral mistakes) that God reveals to me, and seek to fix them as soon as I could. I would want to leave this world knowing that I put significant eternal and spiritual investment in it—that I cared enough to ask God to do His will for the world.
- Serving others (40% of my day)—I would spend another part of my day just serving others. If I were scheduled to work that day, I would do my very best work possible, and strive to help customers, other associates, and managers to complete the tasks for that day. If I were not scheduled to work, I would spend my day volunteering in any way God directs me. I would spend a good part of my day just getting to know those around me better, and to be there for them in their lives. I think we all need to do that more every day. If we spent more time getting to know other people’s life stories (For the post on life stories, see this link. ), and less time being “too busy” for people and being engaged in meaningless chatter or tasks that don’t need to be done right away, we would be more able to be flexible in serving others and truly be able to invest positively in others’ lives, even our own families!
- Resting/ down time (10% of my day)—Of course, I would want to spend some part of my day just relaxing and having some down time. Since I still am a little introverted (and even for some extroverts), I need time to recharge so that I will have the emotional energy to serve others and focus on what I need to. Some way I would love to relax (and ways you can, too) are: 1) Observing nature and its beauty. 2) Listening to soothing music. 3) taking a short nap 4) reading .
This is how I would redeem my time here on earth. While I don’t think I would do anything drastically differently, I would have a much more reflective and purposeful attitude about how I lived my life. Even if today or tomorrow are not one of my last days here on earth, I still aim to redeem the time I have here, because these days can be tough.
What would you do to redeem the time you have here? Would you do or say anything differently than you are now? Please feel free to comment.