Living with Death in Mind
Placing my hand on her bony shoulder, the reality of her condition brought tears to my eyes. Her days were nearing an end. As she shuffled across the floor I followed her closely so she would not fall. Oh, there were so many things that she used to be able to do for herself that she now needed others to do for her. It filled her eyes with tears that she could not do them herself—and the way she liked it done. And as she looked in my direction, those eyes of hers that could no longer see could now see more than anyone else in the room. Living with death in mind, she was suddenly keenly aware of what mattered most.
Leaning forward, she pleadingly asked me to read to her from my book, “Shame Off You”, and so I did. As I paused to see if she wanted me to stop, she begged me to continue. “I wish I had spent more time with you over the past ten years”, she said with regret. We would have grown closer to one another and to God. You know a lot about God. I’m sorry”. Overcome with emotion, I choked back the tears then realized it was ok. I walked over and sat next to her. “I’m sorry, too. Life just gets so busy—raising kids and working.” But it wasn’t the busyness necessarily. The demands of life keep us busy, for sure. But we just weren’t living with death in mind.
What Matters Most
Time with loved ones. And time with God. This is what we miss most when our days on earth are almost through. And these are the things that matter most. There is something about living with the end in mind that gives us clarity. All of this life goes by in such a flash, but this life and time do not have to rule us. We can prioritize our life if we are living with death in mind.
Living with Death in Mind—Relationships
Her children are all grown up now, and their children are, too. Evidence of her faithfulness are in the faithfulness of her children. But the regret that is most palpable in this empty nest of hers is more time she could have spent with loved ones and in the presence of God. It might be a phone call, a note, a visit, but treasuring and cherishing our relationships helps us to keep perspective of how blessed we are to do life with people. And maybe those things that bug us might bug us a little less—when we are living with death in mind.
We might be more careful with our words, more grateful for the gift of the people God has given us. More cognizant of the precious gift of life all around us.
Living with Death in Mind—Priorities
As the days of this life seem to speed up to our end, we are keenly aware of how we spent our time. How much time was spent on Kingdom purposes? How much time was spent fretting about things that don’t matter? And How much time was spent in the drama of life? Most of all—how much time was spent with our Maker—the One we will spend all of eternity with? Suddenly we realize that time in God’s word was the treasure we might have missed.
Our priorities are informed by eternity. Living each moment with God’s word and Heaven in mind helps to guide our decisions and way of life.
Living with Death in Mind—Goodbyes are Hard
As I walked over to say goodbye, her thin arms held tight to mine in an embrace that said, “I don’t want to let go”. As our nests become empty, our hearts don’t have to be. Living with death in mind helps us to reconcile the fact that what we have is not ours. But how we live will impact all of eternity. When we cherish what we have, our lives are more full. And our goodbyes can be bittersweet, when we realize we will leave our nest, too.
Living with Death in Mind—Being in God’s Word
We will all die. but we will not all really live the abundant life Christ promises. Being in God’s Word changes us from within and affects our life in profound ways. Why not hear from our Maker every day so we know how to navigate this life?
Need encouragement? One of the greatest helps to me as a mom and a wife and a daughter of the King of kings is time in His word. Join me in a Bible Reading Plan.
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