It’s almost become a cliché: “Live every day like it’s your last.” We hear statements like this occasionally, but I wonder how many people…..I wonder how many Christians really live that way…
The recent and sudden death of Hollywood starlet Anna Nicole Smith once again brings that reality home. She sought fame, fortune, and happiness. She got the first two….the last one always eluded her confused grasp. She erringly thought (as most Americans do) that the 3 are linked. Fame and fortune automatically lead to happiness. In reality, they almost NEVER do. It reminds me of the parable Jesus told in Luke 12 about the rich man who said, “I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.’” (Luke 12:18-20 NASB) We could sadly say the same thing about Anna Nicole Smith: “You fool! Today your very soul is required of you.”
Her life really was a sad one. She was a high school dropout, married and divorced young, then married a rich, old man only to find that he didn’t leave her any money in his will... lost her only son to drugs, and eventually lost her own life at 39. A sad and wasted life. Don’t get me wrong….most of her problems she brought upon herself with sinful choices….nevertheless, it was a sad life to witness. Her mom said when she was young she enjoyed going to church. By young adulthood her life was devoted to pornography….if only she had stuck with the “church” thing…….Life would have been different. One of her best friends recently asked her if she would do things the same if she had a second chance at life. When most people ponder that they seem to have few regrets….Anna Nicole Smith had regrets galore…..She told her friend if she had it to do over again, she would still be working at a chicken restaurant in Texas, having a house full of babies. Isn’t that ironic? The life that scores of women have (and hate)….Anna Nicole Smith longed for…..and the women who have that life, long to be rich and famous.
It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, famous or unknown…….everyone’s physical life ends the same way…..Death. I’ve heard it said that you can’t tell the difference between a King and a Peasant…..when they’re laid out in the morgue. True. Painfully true. Death is coming for all…..and the hard truth is…..it could be soon. As Solomon wrote: “Man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:12)
You could die tomorrow. That’s probably not something you want to hear….but it’s true. In the last couple of days, I’ve heard of a young man killed in a car wreck, another young man shot to death, another young man diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. This time last week, they were all joyfully living their life. They had no idea what THIS WEEK would bring. But YOU KNOW what this week (or next week) could bring….because I’m telling you right now….You may die. Someday you WILL die. You might as well prepare for that reality now. The question is….will you be ready? Are you really living today like it could be your last?
As I write this blog….I realize that it could be an EXTREMELY depressing one. So let me end with a note of joy. If Jesus is the Lord of your life…..then you have NO REASON to fear, nor dread death. For the Christian, death has “no sting, nor victory” (1 Corinthians. 15:55). Death is simply your doorway to Eternal JOY, and amazing worship and fellowship with the LORD. And I would guess, that if you and I truly thought about this reality EVERYDAY…..we would live our lives much differently. If I KNEW I was going to die tomorrow…..I wouldn’t get quite so annoyed with my kids…..I wouldn’t put things off for next week….I wouldn’t rush through my “quiet time with the Lord” so I could move on to more “important” things……Well guess what…I really COULD die tomorrow…and so could you. That’s no cliché…that’s cold, hard reality.
So why not accept the inevitability of death and truly live everyday like it’s your last. Don’t just say you’ll do it…..Do it! Send the card, hug the kid, go out on a date with the spouse……Say the prayer, make the commitment. Do TODAY what you may NEVER get to do tomorrow, and remember the words of Scripture: “A man knoweth not his time.” If your “time” comes tomorrow…….then leave this earth….with no regrets for what you failed to do……..yesterday…..and by all means…..DON’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW…..because you may never live to see it, after all...... “A man knowth not his time.”