Life, so I hear, is a sexually transmitted, terminal disease. Paradoxically, when life begins, so does the process of death. These are happy thoughts, yes? I apologize for that, but I’ve been pondering stewardship of time, and, truth is, you can’t get around the fact that your days on Earth are few.
This week, I read a former professor’s blog post about his cancer diagnosis and the inadequate questions that someone facing their mortality might ask, namely, “How could this happen?” and “Who said life is fair?” Both questions, ultimately, misrepresent the agent. Death is an “organic process,” Myers said. Our reaction to that process is what counts.
Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. – Psalm 39:4
We have all received a terminal diagnosis. We can mourn each and every setback, indulge in self-pity regularly as trials come. Or, we could revert to nihilism, in which blessings and curses are arbitrarily assigned.
Still, there is another choice left to us, we can choose to maximize our days.
While someone with cancer or lymphoma or AIDS might have a more precise indication of when their lives will end, we can all live like today might be our last, and make our last disclosure.
Here is my deathbed confession: I worried too much. I loved too little. I spent too much time with my nose in a computer and not enough time holding someone’s hand. I was selfish and sometimes sullen and small-minded and seriously sycophantic when it suited.
What do you have to confess? What do you do to optimize your days?