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Life Issues

There's Always Tomorrow

 

Some time back I saw the movie "Deep Impact". The scenario was a countdown to an unavoidable and predictable death as a huge meteor hurtled on a collision course with planet earth. The movie portrayed a whole range of responses of people as they faced their mortality and were powerless to change what seemed to be their inevitable destiny with destruction.

 

Suppose you were in the situation where you knew you had 24 hours to live and then your life would come inescapably to an abrupt end. It's is amazing how the reality of our mortality can dramatically change our values and perspective.

 

We all recall the history changing events of September 11, 2001, when those 4 hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Most if not all the people on board those knew that they were about to die - especially those who tried courageously to overpower the hijackers on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Some passengers were able to use their mobile phones to make heart-rending calls to loved ones. But none of them called their office or stockbroker. All of them called their closest family. Imminent death quickly sorted out what was really important.

 

I vividly recall an occasion when I was out walking with a friend who, only days before, had been advised that he was dying from incurable cancer. At one point I realised that I was talking to myself. I turned to see where he was and he had stopped to smell some flowers. The look on my face prompted him to say, "You look at life very differently when you know you could soon die. Values change. Activities and pursuits that once were so urgent have lost their importance to me now. My whole perspective is being radically transformed". That moment provided me with a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Stop and smell the flowers"!

 

So, what is important for you and me today? If I only had 24 hours left to live this life on earth, what would I change? To put that another way, what are the important things I am putting off today because the urgent things are so demanding? These urgent things that claim my time and attention, do they make any contribution to those aspects of life that I really do believe are important?To relationships? To my marriage? To my children? To my health and well-being?

 

We live our lives on a daily basis as though we were immortal. "There's always tomorrow" is the common philosophy that permeates our thinking. It was Jesus Christ who said, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" A penetrating question. John D. Rockefeller was arguably one of the richest men ever. After Rockefeller's death, his accountant was asked, "How much did J.D. leave? "The reply? "All of it"!

 

So, what's important for you and me today?

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