Many of us who seek profound conclusions about our lives find truth in reading books of all flavors. One such book that I’ve recently encountered suggests among other ideas that instead of fearing death, we are much better off living our lives as if death will be tomorrow.
Initially, this sounds negative or morbid. But the underlying message is that we must live each day wisely and fully in the event that we do die tomorrow. My best estimate is that we take tomorrows for granted, facilitating the postponement of important tasks and making assumptions about the future.
Having spent some time considering this recommendation, it now makes sense to me. For one, I hesitate saying something abrupt or unkind in the event that those words are the last someone will hear from me. And I find myself putting my worldly possessions in order so as to eliminate that responsibility for others.
In this instance, preparing and planning are entirely different processes. Isn’t it obvious that if today is the only day we have that’s guaranteed, we will make it as full and wonderful as possible? While I’m not planning to die, I am intentional about putting everything in order for that occurrence.
This line of thinking is not easily achieved. Sometimes we say words that are disrespectful or unpleasant out of anger and impatience. As I concluded long ago, words once uttered can never be recovered. And while procrastination is no longer acceptable, planning to accomplish big goals or hopes is mandatory rather than optional. If you want to visit Florence or Philadelphia or the Philippines, start saving for it now instead of creating a bucket list with little chance of it being emptied.
A colleague reported her sadness about having lost a close a close friend who died in her sleep the night before. There was no warning and no serious health conditions. This is an excellent example of why it’s critical to live each day with intention. Clint Eastwood (and others) have stated, “Tomorrow is promised to no-one.” Instead of fearing death, embrace its inevitability and maximize life. Shalom.