What if tonight, in a dream, God tells you He is giving you one more year to live? How would that affect the way you interact with your family? How would you spend your time? Is there anything you would do differently? It is my desire that I would live each day as if it were my last.
It seems one area of deathbed remorse is sorrow over things a person wishes they had done differently. I have teenage memories of a great desire to live my life with no regrets. I’m sure that watching my parents divorce after twenty years of marriage might have had something to do with that. Can you imagine facing death without any major regrets? I know we can’t change what has already happened, but we can attempt to make restitution for the past and live from now on with renewed purpose.
What if each of us were to live the next year as if it was our last? How would we live it? I know some non-Christians who would try to pack all of the pleasure they could into the time they had left. Hopefully, none of us would do that, but it can be the desire of the flesh. I know a teenager who had cancer, and his parents were letting him fly many places so he could experience as much as possible before he died. Is that the meaning of life, to see as much as possible and have wonderful experiences? If that were true, we would not hear of so many people with great wealth being miserable, and eventually taking their life physically, or by drugs and alcohol.
Frankly, I know quite a few dads who live their lives seeking all the pleasure and recreation they can. The highlight of their week is the football game, or some other sports event on TV. You can quickly tell what is most important to someone by what they will most readily talk about. When compared to the father’s pleasure, children are often regarded no higher than pets; they’re okay to have around as long as they don’t get in the way of the dad’s other interests. I love the attitude of a homeschooling family who has moved on. One night after a meeting, while the mom was patiently putting what seemed like the child’s seventeenth layer of winter dress on, she exclaimed with deep sincerity, “I feel so unworthy of the honor of serving these children!”
I’m not saying our life is to revolve around our children. However, we do need to die to our own selfish pleasures and center our life on the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of the law, which the following verse refers to, let us substitute Jesus Christ, Who is the fulfillment of the law, and see how we need to live. “And thou shalt teach Jesus diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of Jesus when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 modified).
We share with our children what is important to us. If sports are important, then they will be important to our children. They will likely become couch potatoes and neglectors of their families. If pleasure and recreation take prominence, our children will likely be slothful and gluttons. If we are “religious” only on Sunday morning, live for ourselves, and don’t demonstrate our love and excitement for Jesus, then our children will likely consider us hypocrites and reject Christ.
Do we look at our children as inconveniences or as blessed opportunities? Are we thinking that they are our heritage, and we only have a very limited amount of time to leave an impression on them? We are leaving an impression on them now, but what kind of impression is it? Do we like what we see in our children’s lives? They resemble us. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, however long or short that may be. Let us live each day as if it were our last. NO REGRETS!