I’m not a morbid person, but lately I’ve been thinking more and more about the concept of “What if I only had a year to live?” I’m not currently in danger of succumbing to a physical disease and I don’t engage in a plethora of risky behaviors, so the odds are I’ve got more than a few years left on this planet. Still, what if I knew my death was imminent or even if I was privy to know the date when my life would end? How might my life change? What would I do differently or perhaps for the first time, if I suddenly realized the clock was ticking?
The truth is that we are all on borrowed time; with no guarantee of tomorrow, we risk wasting each day at our own peril. We committed our lives to Christ and promised to live in a manner that reflected His love and glory to a dark and dying world; but how many of us are actually living life this way? Are we more concerned with our comfort or His compassion? Do we seek to elevate our own status or to promote the welfare of the weak and the weary? What does our checkbook say about where our treasure is found? If we knew we would be meeting Jesus today, would any of that change?
As long as we are drawing breath, we have the opportunity to alter course and to begin living our lives as if we realized we are all actually living on borrowed time. Since tomorrow is not a foregone conclusion, we can live a life of intentional urgency today: begin taking notice of the one you always overlook; take a moment to offer a kind word to someone who looks a little down; lend a hand to someone struggling with their load or simply hold the door for another. Take a step back and notice the myriad opportunities for service that surround you every day. We have grown numb to the world around us and consumed with our own schedules and agendas.
Jesus knew that His time on earth was short, and notice how He lived! He had great compassion on those who surrounded Him. He took time to play with little children and went out of His way to heal the sick and to care for friend and stranger alike. He didn’t mince words and gave no quarter to those who would distract Him from His mission. He was focused, He was compassionate and He was purposeful. Jesus lived each day as if it were His last; He was the same the year before His death as He was the day before the cross. The life of Christ was intensely urgent; nothing escaped His notice, and nothing deterred His cause.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to emulate His life. We are chosen to further His mission and to live as He did in every way. We can only fully accomplish this as we begin to live with the urgency of this day being our last. Every day we allow countless opportunities to pass us by because we fail to recognize the gravity of the moment. As long as we live with the assumption of the next day, we will never notice the here and now. Ask God to teach you to live in the urgency of the moment, to live as if there were no tomorrow. Don’t wait until tragedy strikes to change your perspective. Choose today to become fully alive in Christ and to live each moment for His purpose and His glory.