When a young girl loses her father, her future wedding day can be a sad reminder of her pain and loss. I read an article today on Foxnews.com that brought tears to my eyes as one family came up with an idea to address this expected tragedy. Jason Halbert was given only eleven to fifteen months to live because he has an aggressive form of cancer that is sure to take his life. His two daughters, now eighteen-years-old and sixteen-years-old, had always dreamed of dancing with their father on their wedding day. Now, that will never happen.
The family decided to get wedding dresses for the girls and shoot video footage of the girls’ wedding dance with their dad. They plan to show the video one day at their weddings.
The story broke my heart to think about what this family must be going through, but it also made me stop to think about the fact that we’re all terminal. We should be living each day to its fullest knowing that no one is promised tomorrow. We never know when we’ll live our last day on earth, so we need to make each day count.
Maybe we should quit spending so much energy and time on activities that really do not matter when eternity is in view. It makes me think about the people I need to hug or the person I need to tell about Jesus. Of all of the things you’re going to do today, which of them really matters? Maybe, we should avoid some of the things on our to do list and add some other items that didn’t make the cut. Our deaths are a reality. Are you getting ready for it?
I think I’ll make a list of important things I must do before I die and start working on it. Somewhere near the top will be a dance with my daughters.
How many of us have ever struggled with discerning God’s direction for our lives? I think I just saw everyone’s hand shoot into the air. I really don’t think that God has made His voice so indiscernible and will so elusive that knowing His will should be so difficult. Maybe the problem is not with God. Maybe it’s us. My church is currently involved in a fall spiritual growth emphasis, and we’re using Craig Groeschel’s book, Divine Direction, as our small group study. His book is AWESOME. It will possibly make my best book of 2018 choice. I am also preaching a short series to go along with the study. The first two messages are posted now, and the third should be up by the end of the week.
In my first message, I emphasize the fact that we are writing our life’s story every day that we live. I’ve got to confess that at times in my life, I have written a few lines carelessly. I wish I could find the delete button and re-write a few pages. While I can do that with the books I write, I can’t do that with the life I’m living. My life’s book is permanent as it’s written, and so is yours. Our challenge is to think ahead to what we want the final chapters of our lives to say. Is the chapter you are writing today going to get you to those final chapters you have envisioned? The chapter we are writing today will determine the chapters we write tomorrow because we are becoming today who we will be tomorrow. The choices and decisions we make today determine everything about our final chapters.
Stop and take a little inventory. Think ahead to what you want in that final chapter of your life. If the decisions you’re making today or the sentences being written by your current actions will not get you to your desired conclusion, you’ve got to change your story now. You can’t wait a year or two. I encourage you to consider what changes are needed now so your story has the best conclusion years from now.
“I just don’t have enough time in a day.” How many times have you repeated that mantra? Sadly that phrase seems to be the theme song for many of our lives. Well…you’re in luck. You got an extra second today, but the day is almost over. We had a rare event today in that we were given an extra second. Experts refer to this as being a “leap second.” The National Institute of Standards and Technology define a leap second as “a second added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep it synchronized with astronomical time,” What in the world will you do with a second? Probably nothing. It does make me think, however, about what it would be like if we were suddenly given an extra hour or an extra day. What if I could hold up a rod (like Moses) and gain an extra few hours? Here’s a thought. Why did we need an extra hour today when there’s a good chance we wasted several of the ones we had? I think it would be a good idea for us to make note of something we would do tomorrow if we had an extra hour and go ahead and do it with one of the hours we already have. If we work harder at managing our time, we might feel as if we’ve been given an extra hour a day, and with that extra time, we could change the world.