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Life, Death & Reflection

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sharing forward something I read this morning in the early pre-dawn quiet. So many articles and nudges and reminders such as this and yet it is so easy to become complacent and caught up in the day to day surviving and forget to LIVE.

Life, Death, and Reflection
By: Lance Ekum

"Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." ~ Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Life here on earth. I have come to believe it is a very special thing. Out of all the combinations of who we could have been when we were born, we are this unique "us" that we are today.

And as far as I know, we have this one time here on earth. In fact, maybe an even better way for me to look at this is in that what we have is this moment. Our days are made up of these moments, moments that become our lifetime...however long or short that may be.

Wow.

It's one of those subjects that is hard to fully grasp. Life is this big ball of unknown. We may think we have our life all compartmentalized, everything in it's place, and a place for everything. And maybe it feels all neat and tidy (or maybe not).

My truth today is that - as much as I do this, there are just all these unknowns in every moment of the day. Most of these unknowns are small, and not enough to disrupt the flow of our life, as we see it.

Except, every once in a while, there is some bigger "unknown" that gets picked up, as our "big ball of unknown" is rolling down the path we call life.

That all has me thinking today, about life...and the finality of our earthly existence in this thing we call life.

What if we knew? What if, on the day we were born, we were also told the day that we would die. And what if that age was as varied as real death is. Some would die as infants, some as children. Others in early adulthood, and yet others in the twilight years.

How would this change your thinking about life, if you knew?

If you knew that you had three years left to live, would you do things differently than if you knew you had thirty years left to live? And the closer you approached that magical "date," how would that change how you viewed life?

I suspect that if we knew the date of our death, it would change things. Maybe there would be some sense of urgency...in touching upon those things that have deeper meaning. Perhaps we would take more time to care. And love. And really "be" in the moments of our day.

An Experiment

Imagine with me for a minute, that today is your last day of life on earth. You know this. Physically nothing is different than it has been in recent years, it's just that you know that your time on earth is up.

Stop.

Stop for a minute, and let that thought really sink in.

{pause}

This is it. The end is here. Does this change, in any way, what your day looks like? Your last day here, on this earth, in this body that is you. Are there things you would want to say, want to do, want to "be" - in these last few hours? Things that you wouldn't be doing if you didn't know?

Where am I at in all of this? The honest answer is that my day WOULD be different if I knew this was my last one here on earth.

And that makes me wonder...wonder why is it that we might be willing to "settle?” Settle for something less than what rings true in our heart.

Are you "settling?"

Maybe you can answer this question with a resounding "no." I question, though, whether any of us are truly living in exactly the way we would want to be at the end of our days here.

Maybe we are close. Maybe not. And perhaps it is all part of that journey we are on, in this life we are living.

Our last day. Can we really do anything in those last twenty-four hours?

We may not be able to take that great adventure we had thought about. We may not be able to drive across country to visit an old friend. We may not be able to change our career to something more meaningful and engaging. We may not be able to able to start that hobby that's always floated around in our heart.

So, does a day really matter? Would anything change, really?

Maybe it's too late to do a lot of these things we have thought about. It is not too late, though, to call that friend. Forgive. Hug your family. Share a moment of deep connection. Love.

A day does matter. Today matters. It may be all you have.

Where Does That Leave Us?

Many of us will never know how long we have left to live. There's this assumption, I think, that our earthly life will be here tomorrow. And very likely it will be, for each of us. What if, though, the end is near?

What are you not doing, today, because you think you have that lifetime left yet?
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