September 24, 2012 by eneubauer
What if you knew that you had just six months to live? What would you do (seriously)? I make this statement today reflecting on my own life and inspired by the life story of protestant pastor Ed Dobson who was diagnosed a decade ago with ALS. Since receiving his diagnosis and suffering with this debilitating disease he has unearthed some life lessons I believe we can learn from – if we are daring enough to listen, reflect and employ.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
(Matthew 11:15 ESV)
In light of a series of video’s [Ed’s Story] he has developed in order to share his life experience I have been asking myself this question, “Would you live life differently today if you knew when the end would come?” I believe, for me & most, that answer is a resounding YES.
It wasn’t that long ago (from eternity’s perspective) that I was 20 years old, lost and on a path of physical, moral and spiritual self-destruction. Then at 21 and on the precipice of the pit once again I reached out to the ONE who had been reaching out to me for so long and accepted Jesus the Christ as my Savior, Lord and Healer. He radically reorientated my life and since that moment I have never been the same. It was at this time that I decided (felt called) to spend the rest of my days sharing His story of love with everyone I could.
All of us know that life has a tendency to “move on” and often with it a dimming of the wonder that brought us to the feet of Jesus (in our moments of greatest need). We become guarded, a sense of security sets in and all of a sudden we are working harder and harder to “guard” that life God has given us rather than giving it away. Life becomes more about US, less about HIM and as Ed states, we develop a capacity to believe we will “live forever” forgetting just how “fragile” life really is. It is in this moment that we lose the eternal perspective focusing our eyes on that which is “earthly” – that which fades.
So what would I do if I had only six months to live – what would you do? This is a question that I believe needs to be asked, reflected upon, journaled about and discussed. Why? Because, with every fiber of my being and discerning the moment in which we live (as Catholics in particular & Christians in general) I believe people are just waiting for us to begin living. See, when I ask myself this question and reflect upon the answers that surface what I discover is a vision of the Man, Father & Friend that I truly want to be / become. It is in our guarded way of living, holding tightly to what Christ intended to be freely given away, that we diminish ourselves, the gifts, talents and abilities that God has given to us.
I have concluded that people are just waiting for us to LIVE the lives we are intended to live – with abandon, a sense of purpose, and that wonder we felt when we entered into the Real Presence of our Risen Lord for the very first time. I remember, like it was yesterday, the gratitude I felt when the Lord rescued me from death and gave me new life in Him. I remember the surprise of my parents when I came home, over and over again, to tell them the stories of what I was learning from Bible Study, Conferences, evenings of Praise, Worship and Prayer. They thought I was crazy but I knew that I was really alive. Dead to my old self and alive in Christ. The danger, as the years have passed, is that I have become more concerned about living (& preserving my life) then dying to self, living in Him and sharing that STORY with those just waiting to hear.
I am asking myself once again – what would you do TODAY if you KNEW you only had SIX MONTHS to LIVE? Answer that, live it and watch your life fill again with the wonder of being a child of the Risen Christ.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25 ESV)