Life Is Short So Let’s Start Living
“Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been.” – author unknown
We have all heard this expression: “Life is short”, but do we really believe it or do we live as though we had a thousand years (Marcus Aurelius)? Do we believe what we say or is it just a flippant cliché, a passing phrase that we repeat because we heard it somewhere.? The Bible talks about a lifespan is 4 score and 10 (90 years or so). That is not a long time, is it? Of course, when we are 16, it can seem like a long time because time seems to stand still at that age. It seems like a long way away and puts us into the mindset of thinking that we have”forever” to live.
Life really is shorter than we care to think and sometimes it sends us curveballs that shorten it “prematurely”, or prevent us from doing some of the activities that we talked about doing in the future when we “have more time,” when the kids are grown or when we retire etc.. We put off doing what would like to do, what we dream of doing in order to take care of the busyness of today. We fall into the routines and obligations of our everyday lives, but the clock keeps ticking. The grains of sand in the hourglass sift through the funnel from top to bottom continually and we can not turn the hourglass upside down and start over again.
Today Is the Only Day
Today is the only day we have. Yesterday no longer exists (except in our memory). Tomorrow is only hypothetical. It does not exist yet and it is not a guarantee. So what are we doing with our today since it is the only time we have? Each morning we wake up is an excellent opportunity to be grateful for this wonderful gift of being alive. We may have problems and burdens, but we also have life and that is what is most important. Perhaps if we focused more on realizing how amazing an opportunity we have to be alive, we might focus less on our problems.
There is a saying of Jesus in the Bible: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own”. What wise counsel. We tend to sacrifice the future on the altar of today when the future isn’t even a given. Worrying steals today away from us and it definitely will not solve any of our problems, nor will it give us more life. So why worry and steal joy away from ourselves? By worrying – about our finances, our relationships, our job or whatever, we are not allowing ourselves to live and appreciate the day we have, actually, the only day we have.
Enjoy every moment you have. Because in life, there are no rewinds, only flashbacks. – Anmol Andore
What if you knew that this was your very last day on this earth and that your life would be taken from you? How would you spend this time? For many people, this is, in fact, a reality, but they just don’t know it. I am quite sure that none of us would be concerned with the usual things we complain about or would be spending our time scrolling on Facebook. We probably wouldn’t spend our time bickering with loved ones. Most probably we would value every minute and tell anyone and everyone how much we love them.
Since we really do not know what life has in store for us nor how long we have, maybe it is a good time to take stock of all that we have been blessed with, spend time with the people we are blessed to have in our lives. I am not only speaking of our families but also our neighbors in our communities. Do we actually know them? Do we speak to them? Do we share a little of our time with them? There are probably many people around us who long to have a conversation to break out of their loneliness. Isn’t that what it means to live? Isn’t really about relationships and connecting?
Each Day Is a New Opportunity
Each day the sun rises is a new opportunity to seize, savor and share. Each day brings new ideas, experiences, challenges, and solutions. Each day is a new day for doing something different and something meaningful. It is a new opportunity to forgive, to love, to grow, to do something we may have never considered before. Early morning birds singing is a daily reminder of how much we truly have. Every day we have a new opportunity to use and share the gifts and talents we have been given to benefit ourselves and others. The Bible says that God’s mercies are new each morning, which is wonderful news. We have a chance each morning to start over, to begin something new, to repair what was broken and build up our relationships.
Life is a Contact Sport
And while we are at it, why not live the life we want to live now instead of just talking about it and waiting on the sidelines. Life is not a spectator sport; it is a contact sport, to use an analogy. Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the right time, the right opportunity or circumstances is a sad way to live. There will never be a right time or perfect circumstances because the time is now. You might say that you don’t have the finances or the time, but I will say “where there is a will, there is a way”. We are not going to necessarily have more time or money later. Life has a funny way of making sure there is always something to occupy us and some “financial responsibility or crisis” to take care of.
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
A palliative nurse listed the most common regrets of the dying and put these findings into a book called “The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.” Here they are:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Some Very Important Lessons
1. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
2. If it can be done, do it now.
3. Today is all we have.
4. Our happiness is our choice and our responsibility
5. Work is not our life but passion and purpose make life fulfilling
6. We are responsible for living our own lives, not the lives of others.
7. Be kind to ourselves and to others
8. Prioritize relationships
9. Don’t be a prisoner of guilt or you will become a prisoner of regret.
10. Life is a contact sport.
Life is precious and life is short. In fact, we often do not catch on to how short it actually is. We calculate life in terms of months and years. But what if we measured life in terms of experiences and how well we sowed into the lives of others. What if we changed from living according to the dictates of the calendar to being in charge of the calendar and filling it up with meaningful activities and using it to record cherished moments in time. I hope that you have been encouraged and inspired by this post. May joy be with you always.
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