Live Like You Were Dying


How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? What is your life? You are like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.. James 4:14

I was having one of those days.

Driving to work struggling with a generally negative attitude.
Complaining about how my life would be so much better if all the people in it would only do what I wanted them to do, act how I wanted them to act.
Thinking about all the things I wish were different, mentally checking off my list of complaints.

Thoughts like these usually lead to feeling sorry for myself, anger, frustration or all three. I could blame it all on the last three years which have not been easy.
Lots of worry, emotional ups and downs, reasons to be angry or frustrated. It would be easy to justify my emotions, give up the battle and just give up, or give in. And go out and do some really crazy things I would regret later. Or just quit trying…..

As I drove along thinking about these things I remembered this song by Tim McGraw. To set the stage for the story a man comes face to face with his mortality and after doing some serious introspection about what is important decides to live life a different way.

I went skydiving

I went Rocky mountain climbing

I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu-Manchu

And I loved deeper

And I spoke sweeter

And I gave the forgiveness I’d been denying

And he said “Someday I hope you get the chance to live-like you were dying.”*

I realized in that moment that I have a choice. We all do. And instead of giving in to my emotions I decided instead to invest that energy in examining my life and how I was living it.
Time is precious,
I only have a little bit of it, and even though I know it is limited, I don’t live that way. So today I make a choice to not take for granted the time I have. I choose to

Take time to spend with loved ones. To not miss that birthday, family reunion,  band concert or a few minutes to just be there, all there

Take time to let them know they matter, put aside the busyness of life to make time for them

Take time to think through my choices, make good ones, do the right thing even when it is difficult

Take time to take care of what is important

Take time to consider the end that will come and prepare to run the rest of my race in a way that I can finish well

To live like I am dying. And who knows along the way I might even find time to do some skydiving, Rocky mountain climbing, bull riding…

© written byTim Nichols; Craig Wiseman
sung by Tim McGraw


“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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6 Responses to Live Like You Were Dying

  1. ptl2010 says:

    I believe one secret in living like you are dying is to give thanks in everything. When you can give thanks it’s when you enjoy life and dwell on the good things rather than the woes. It’s then you can face challenges and have the strength to overcome. The Lord dwells in the praise of his people. Where he is, there is joy and strength. Praise the Lord. Amen

  2. Pingback: Live Like You Were Dying | Daily Bread

  3. Huge TM fan. Recently I saw him interviewed and now that Faith has whipped him into shape lol- he really is trying to live like he was dying. It is so easy to dwell on what is wrong, not what is right. That is a trap from hell because we know that on this earth there will always be wrong. Good post!

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