Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Then Shall We Live?

There is a time to be born and a time to die....
Ecc. 3:2

I have been reading a book by Wayne Mueller entitled, "How Then Shall I Live?" and today's chapter asked the question,
 "Knowing we will die, how shall we live?" 

 Pastor Wayne Mueller works with many people who are at the end of their life from cancer, kidney failure, AIDS, etc. and he found that they changed how they viewed life once they knew they were dying. Suddenly everything they did in their remaining days becomes precious.  Relationships became very important and such things as money and material goods did not.

The thing is, we are all going to die. We just don't know when or how.  So living each day from the perspective of knowing that we will die makes every sunrise amazing.  Like many of you who have faced illness, when I got cancer in early 2010 I was frightened.  I already felt like I was fighting for my life with Lyme Disease, and then along came the big "C".  Life became more precious.  Oh, it has taken me awhile to not live in fear of it returning and there are still times I become anxious about that possibility.  It took awhile for me to not be looking behind me, or running into the future trying to grab hold of all life has to hold.  I am learning to accept where I am on my journey with Lyme Disease and as a cancer survivor.  Slowly I am learning that today is all I have and it is precious from the moment the sun rises until it sets in the evening.  Mindful living.  Focused on God and those I love and care about.  It is a process during which I am finding this book and its questions very helpful.

Maybe we need to ask ourselves some important questions?  How do we want to live the rest of our lives?  Do we want to be kinder?  Do we want to be more loving?  Do we desire to serve Jesus in a special way?  Do we hunger to worry less and laugh more?  So many questions for us to answer as we contemplate the fact that death will come to all of us. 

So, I ask the question one more time....

Knowing we will die, how shall we live?


Jan Lyn said...

Good question, Renee. I ask it of myself every day as well as what does God want me to learn in this very moment..? Kind of puts priorities in place real quick.

I miss you! It's been great to stop in here and read a few minutes. I've stopped blogging until next summer while I complete my Spiritual Formation course. I had to make God and family first and then my school, so my online time is at a minimun. I knew it would be comforting to stop in here and was right.

Our youngest is finally doing well and seems for now to be recovered from the lyme. So, we hope this is it. She is gaining weight and active once again. Thank you for leaving me a message. You and Joel continue to be in my prayers.

Jan Lyn

That corgi :) said...

That does sound like an interesting book, I'll have to check it out. I think we need to know and remember what our purpose is here in life, to love God and our neighbor, to seek him, to make him known. If we truly grasped that concept and then followed it, I think we would know how to live, for him and for his glory; now doing it, at least for me, is so very challenging.


Elaine said...

A hard question Renee.... one I struggle with a lot.

Excellent post!