What is most important to you? Is it Jesus or something less than that? Our lives will be spent in the pursuit of something. Some will pursue security, some comfort, and others fame. Anything we pursue other than Jesus will leave us hollow when we reach the end of our days. When you lie on your deathbed, what will you look back on and wish that you would have accomplished? While perhaps a bit morbid, this can be a very healthy exercise in which to engage. For what will you have needed to live in order to die with no regrets?
I want to look back on my life and know that I loved Jesus by obeying Him and serving others well. I want to know that I loved and served without prejudice and without judgment. Serving well means holding on to all things loosely. Never do I want it said that I was selfish, greedy, or unwilling to give of the time or resources that have been entrusted to me. When I encounter a need, I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus and insert myself into the situation. This is what Jesus told us to do in his parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
If I reach the end of my life knowing that I have faithfully pursued Jesus and consistently engaged in the work He created me to do, I will die a happy man. I don’t want to leave anything undone. I constantly remind myself of what Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: “Most people die with the music still in them.” How incredibly sad! I want to play every note I have been given to play. Dying fully spent is the only way to go. Facing Jesus knowing I left some things undone is not a situation in which I wish to find myself.
Of course, my script is not playing out perfectly. Far too often I have passed by opportunities to serve someone else. I have said unkind words that tear down rather than build up. I have despised when I should have loved. Worst of all, I have spent periods sleepwalking through life instead of being fully awake to all God has for me to do. Without a clear goal of how I want my life to end, it is difficult to know the changes I need to make today in order to get where I want to be.
How about you? When you look back over your life, what will you want to see? More importantly, what do you want Jesus to see you have done with the life He gave to you alone to live? Getting clear on what you want to become is the absolute key to becoming that person. Take some time and write out what you want to have accomplished when you close out your days on earth. Use that as guardrail for the rest of your life. Be ready to die, knowing you have lived a life well spent.