In 2004 Country Music artist Tim McGraw released the hit song Live Like You Were Dying. It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard country music charts where it remained for a total of seven weeks.
The song shares the story of a middle aged man in his early forties that wrestles with his mortality as he is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The songs lyrics pull at our heart strings as the story tells of a life that is radically transformed and reprioritized in light of the shortness of the remaining days the gentleman has to live.
Unfortunately many of us are careless in life with no thought of tomorrow until our living is interrupted by some news that our life may be cut shorter than we expected. It is sobering to hear that we are not going to live forever. Or even make it to old age. It is amazing how quickly one can change his or her priorities when the idea of a long life is no longer a reality.
The sobering truth for all of us is that we are dying. When each of us enters into this world we begin our journey towards the grave. We don’t need to be told by a doctor that we will not live forever. The grave is the destination of all men, women, boys, and girls. The problem is that we don’t think in those terms. We live with the unmerited expectation that we will die of old age.
What if more of us began to live like we were dying? Would we as the song suggests love a little deeper, speak a little sweeter, give forgiveness that we had been denying? Would we be better husbands and wives and take a long hard look at how life would be different if we had it to do all over again? Is it possible that we would be better people, we would have better families, and even better communities?
There is a time for life and a time for death. All who are born will eventually die. Why not live like it, starting today? I hope we all get the chance to live like we are dying.
Written by Larry Westfall. Copyright Finding Wonder 2013.