You are going to die tomorrow.
Morbid thought right? But really, what if you knew for a fact that you would die tomorrow? I, for one, would probably freak out. I’d have a million thoughts running through my mind. But I think my first question would be how would I die? Would I go out like a hero and save kidnapped hostages and die with valor? Or would I trip into the street and get hit by a truck? I wouldn’t want to die like a chump. But that’s not really the purpose of this post.
The question I want to raise is this: How differently would we act towards each other if we lived every single day like tomorrow was our last? There have been so many times in my life that I have let my anger and impatience over the stupidest things gets the best of me.
This past summer I spent 6 weeks in New York City. I remember on one particular day I was in a Dunkin Doughnuts and I was roughly the 5th person in line, and the line at the time was moving pretty steadily. It was pretty impressive how fast the cashier and the worker handing us our orders were moving. Things kept moving smoothly and people were getting their orders when an older lady came up to the cashier. She then placed her order and the cashier gave her the total amount she was to pay, it was around three dollars and some change. She then began to dig through her purse and she then pulled a small plastic bottle out of her purse. When I began looking at the bottle I realized that every single coin in the bottle were pennies. She began to slowly pour the majority of these pennies on the counter. I and all the people in the line gave out a sigh of irritation and disgust towards this woman. It was as if we were saying, “How could you make me wait 5 extra minutes for my coffee?” The cashier at the register shared the same irritation that many of us in the line felt. He then proceeded to refuse to serve this woman if she could not pay with something other than hundreds of pennies. As they continued to argue about it I felt myself become very annoyed. In the end, I wound up leaving the store because I did not feel like waiting any longer. Looking back on it, it was a silly thing to get worked up over.
If I were to go back to that moment and live in it as if I were going to die the next day I probably would have responded differently in a number of ways. I may not have gotten mad at all. I may have even bought the woman’s order just to make things easier on everyone there. It seems that when any moment of our lives is put into a new perspective and we begin to understand that nothing in life is guaranteed, not even tomorrow, we end up with a different way of viewing people and the situations we are in. This thought of living as if today were my last has rattled in my brain the last few days bringing to the front of my mind a number of thoughts as to how I treat people and what the things are that I really value in this life. And as I think about it, I at times have treated people very poorly. Only responding to situations with my own selfish agenda in mind. It is hard to realize that we do this in the moments where we are acting in a selfish manner.
If I lived every day like it was my last, I could very well become a totally different person. I would probably not get mad at the person that takes too long in line. I wouldn’t become irritated at the person driving too slow in the left-hand lane. I would make sure that the people I care about the most knew I cared about them. I would want to make sure I was remembered for loving the heck out of people before I loved myself. I would probably live with the purpose of others in mind. Blake Fine would wake up every day and think, “Who can I love and serve besides myself today?” Even as I write this I am convicted as to how selfish I live and think.
When I think of a person who knew the end was coming and lived like it, I think of Jesus. Jesus knew He was on earth for only a number of years. He knew that His purpose was to serve others. He lived with the purpose of dying for people as a savior and every action and miracle he performed was an act of love. He never placed Himself before others and was always living with the thought in mind that it would all come to an end soon. Numerous times He told the Apostles that the end would be near. Through it all, he remained steadfast in love and patience.
So how are you living? Are you living for your own agenda? And if you die tomorrow would all your work for yourself really matter? Do you make sure that the people you love know you love them? Is your purpose in life to serve people before yourself? If you want to live like Jesus then I challenge you, look at every day as if it were your last and you might just start turning into a different person. A person that looks more like Jesus than you ever imagined.