Live Like We're Dying
On this cool, crisp November morning, my oldest son and I set out on an adventure across town to run in a 5K event benefiting a co-worker of mine. Will Steele suffers from a rare form of cancer - and he is waging a battle for his physical life.
I LOVE to run. I've been doing it for almost 20 years now. And as I explained to a lady at the race, I'm a runner...but not a "strategic" runner. In other words I don't set out to win race or set personal records. Rather, running is my therapy. It's my chance to be alone, to reflect on the day, to commune with the Father, or to even sing at the top of my lungs. So it was a no-brainer to make a small contribution to this great man's quest for freedom from his disease.
On the way to the race I was explaining to Elijah who Will was, how sick he was, and what the purpose of the race was. Elijah's favorite game is "Twenty Questions" - the kids is going to make a great attorney one day, because he can beat you into submission with questions. So we talked about cancer, chemotherapy, radiation...and then death and eternity. He ended his stream of questions with "Is Will going to be in Heaven?"
I tried to explain that only God determines that...but based on what I know about Will, I feel confident that God and he will continue to spend lots of time together...but that I don't think Will is ready to sign off just yet.
So we get to the race, we run our three miles, and we decided to stick around to see who won the different age groups (yes, Elijah got second in his age group; as for me...well...you know...). While we were waiting, the DJ who was playing music throughout the event played a song that had this echoing mantra of "We gotta live like we're dying."
And I got real choked up.
I am in the best shape of my life. I eat healthy to the point that folks at work make fun of my obsession with fruit. And even though I know that my body is mortal, I've been living my life like I'll be around forever. I worry more about my retirement than I do about my judgment. I worry more about getting kids to college than I do about pointing my kids toward Heaven. I worry more about navigating my way to a promotion versus navigating my salvation (with fear and trembling, Paul says).
I do not envy Will. He's young (only 33) has a beautiful wife, and three sweet little kids. And his long-term prognosis isn't good. But when you talk to him and you read his blog...HE GETS IT! And I think I get it, too.
I'm terminal. I'm dying. I just don't have a doctor speculating on when my time will come. But it's high time I start living like I'm dying.