With all of the recent deaths in the news – Kobe Bryant; NBA athlete, Jim Lehrer; PBS news anchor, John Karlen; Emmy-winning actor, Terry Jones; British comedian and cofounder of Monty Python and Neil Peart; drummer of Rush, alongside so many innocent deaths around the world due to war and natural disasters stacked with some of our very own near and dear deaths to those in our own community of faith, it is no wonder so many people are questioning it all.
“Why?” we ask. I have heard all the cliché sayings and to be honest, I may have even repeated some of them a time or two. “There’s a reason for everything,” “heaven gained another angel,” “guess their time/purpose was up here on earth,” but is that the best we can do? Today I am writing this not to try to explain the why but to try to find some meaning to it
all. Whether a death of a loved one is sudden or inevitable, it is all tragic and awful. But what I can share, having experienced both ways, is how horrific and lost you feel when it is so sudden.
As I was scrolling social media and various internet news accounts this past Monday following the horrendous helicopter crash that took nine innocent and unsuspecting lives, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter, I caught myself humming Tim McGraw’s song Live Like You Were Dying. Do you remember that song? I vaguely remember when it came out on
radio in 2004 but I more so recall one time when my dad and I were driving to lunch together and that song came on. My dad was an old country and western soul, think Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, so he didn’t care much for all the “newfangled stuff” but ya’ll, we drove down the road belting out that song without a care in the world as to how off key or out of
tune we were. Thankfully, no one was subjected to our singing!
In times such as this with so much loss around us, let us not step back from life and watch it play out on a movie screen but get in there. As the lyrics suggest, live like you were dying. What might that look like? What would you do differently today if you knew it was your last? Go fishing? Go to the movies or dinner with that friend you haven’t seen in far too long?
Eat the dessert? Take that trip? Go skydiving? Go hiking? Ride a bull for 8 seconds? Love those who may or may not be so easy to love? Forgive? Speak kindly?
As we each wrestle to find meaning in our losses, the one thing I know for certain is that all we have is today. Stop waiting for that “someday when I (fill in the blank)”. Do whatever that something is today! Don’t wait for the someday because as one of my favorite authors and blogger; Rachel Hollis says, “someday isn’t coming.” Get out there. Do the thing.
Live like you were dying!