I love non-competitive games where you get to know each other. Games with thought-provoking questions like:
If you were marooned on a desert island and you could have one book with you, which one would you choose?
If your house was burning down and you had time to get one possession out, what would it be?
Lately, I’ve been mulling over two other questions. Two questions that moved from hypothetical self-revelation to reality for a friend of mine. Just before Christmas, she found out her husband only had a couple weeks to live. His fast and horrible death shook me and everyone who knew him. It caused me to wonder what I would do if I was in her place.
If someone you love only had two weeks to live, what would you talk about?
Every minute would be treasured and you’d want to make each one count. Would life come into focus with a laser point simplicity? Would trivial subjects be abolished and every conversation turn intense? Or would you want to appreciate everyday things – watching the birds, marveling at the sunset – anything, as long as you’re together. I don’t have answers. Just questions.
If you were dying and had one last chance to talk to each of your loved ones – only one hour the doctors could promise of lucidity — what would you impart, and to whom?
Precious conversation would be reduced to the most essential. Each word would be purposeful. Words of love and thanksgiving and blessing and encouragement. Wisdom and warning and guidance. Practical matters about finances and your wishes for your memorial service.
I’m reminded of a poem by C. T. Studd, British cricketer-turned-missionary, member of the Cambridge Seven who followed God to China:
Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
None of us are guaranteed another day and we need to make the most of each one that we’re given. Every new day is a gift. My challenge as we embark on this new year is to make each day count.
I’ve restarted an old tradition of beginning my mornings with this prayer:
“Lord, I thank you for another day of life and I give back to you this day that you have made. Help me to do and to be and to say and to think only what You want me to do and to be and to say and to think today.”