Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Live like you're dying

 I like some secular music, but the songs I listen to are few and far in between. First off, I don't listen to much secular music. I'd rather listen to Christian music, and am not much attracted to secular music. I don't even understand Christians who primarily listen to secular music.

 The few secular songs I do listen to, are country. Country gets a bad rap for a reason. There seems to be an overabundance of drinking and cheating songs. The old joke "what do you get if you play a country music CD backwards?" has some truth to it. (You get your girlfriend, your dog, your job, and your best friend back.) Yet, country music talks more about family, country, and God than other secular music. A popular country song says this:

You're not supposed to say the word "cancer" in a song.
And tellin' folks Jesus is the answer can rub 'em wrong.
It ain't hip to sing about tractors, trucks, little towns, and mama, yeah that might be true.
But this is country music and we do.

  The second verse goes on to add this:

And if there's anyone that still has pride and the memory of those
That died defending the old red, white, and blue,
This is country music and we do

  There are a surprising number of country songs that have religious themes and actually mention God, Jesus, and/or church. Those are the country songs that I like, not the drinking and cheating songs... I don't need those. And one of my favorite country songs is the song "Live like you were dying" by Tim McGraw. The song is about a guy who gets some bad health news, and goes on to do the things he wants to do and should do.

  I've been thinking about the song lately, and have been listening to it. It hits me hard every time I hear it. I am dying. You are dying. The second we pop out of the womb, we start dying, technically the second we are conceived.

  None of us know when our last day will be. I am in my 40's, so realistically I could have 30-40 years left, or I could drop dead tomorrow. I could drop dead before I finish this blog post. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

  So as the song suggests, we should live like we are dying.... because we truly are.

  I don't hold with the Calvinist doctrine that once you become a Christian, you will enter Heaven no matter what you do, no matter how much you sin.....but neither do I believe salvation is as easy to lose as some preachers have made it sound. That said, we should all live for God as if our next breath would be our last, or as if Jesus were to return before we blinked again. What state would we want Him to find us in? Would we want to be sinning as He returned, or when we breathed our last?

  The above statement is true, but we live here on earth. We can't be evangelizing 24/7. We need to sleep, make a living, relax, and live. We should do as much for God as we can, and that can depend on where we are, our gifts or talents, and a multitude of other things.

  I work with a man in his early 60's who loves to get overtime. There have been weeks where he worked more overtime than his regular 40 hours. No one is allowed to work more than two shifts in a row, or I am sure he'd do it. I am sure he has a nice paycheck, but what kind of life is that? No time for family, no time for fun, relaxation.

 I wouldn't mind more money, but what good is it if you have no time to live? I enjoy reading, spending time with family, playing with my nieces and nephews. Time is slipping by so quickly. I can't believe the oldest is 19 and the youngest is 8. If I blink, the 8 year old will be graduating from high school.

 Most of us have regrets. It is rare for someone to have none. I have regrets, but I don't regret spending time and money on family and friends.

 A few weeks ago, I took a step into uncharted territory. I had been feeling God's prodding to approach a young guy at church and take him out to eat and get to know him a bit. As outgoing as I am, doing something that is really difficult for me, but I did it. It was good for me, and he seemed to enjoy it. Things like that are the things that matter. Spending time with people, showing people you care, praying for people.

  If any of us were told we had a certain amount of time to live, I believe there are some things most of us would do:

1) Get our spiritual live in order.

2) Spend lots of time with family and friends

3) Enjoy life

4) Do things on our bucket list, if we have one

5) Forgive

6) Write

  And yet, as I said, we are all dying. We should do these things daily. Don't squander time and money. Sure, save money for emergencies, and don't go into debt, but come on.....you may die and someone else will spend that money. Take that vacation, read that book, forgive, enjoy life. We only get one, and then we die. We should all spend whatever time we have wisely. Don't give your life to your job, or to sinful habits. Give it to God, family, and friends. Love and enjoy life.

He said I was in my early 40's,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin' at the x-rays,
Talkin' 'bout the options and talkin' 'bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,

I went sky divin',
I went rocky mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn't.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin' fishing,
Wasn't such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I'd do
If I could do it all again.
And then.

I went sky divin',
I went rocky mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.


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