I've heard it a thousand times before: "Live each day as if it were your last." But somehow that saying has never really seemed right to me. For one thing, if it were my last day and I knew it, I would spend the day looking around and crying because I would be seeing things for the last time- my children's legs as they run, the scruff of Ben's face, their smiles up close, each friend, my earthly home. There would be so much that I would want to say, do, and stick around to see. It would be a mourning day.
But, have you ever heard someone tell the story of how they looked death in the face, knew it was the day they would die, and somehow, miracles happened and they survived to tell about it? What do they all say? "I don't take life for granted anymore." They can't. They thought they were dead, that they'd never get to see their loved ones again, and then surprise! another day, another month, another life, was given them. Such joy! Such an unexpected, spectacular gift!
That's how I want to live. I want to live as if each yesterday was my last day on earth, and today is a total bonus. Surprise! I woke up today, breathing, moving... I get to see my children again! Surprise! I get to hold my husband again... I get to talk to my parents again! What shall I do today, on this blessed extra day of life that the Lord has given to me? What a precious day to be cherished, revered. I see my day in a new light. I no longer want to push my kids away so I can watch tv... no! Curl up close to me, my love, want a story? Let me tell you how much I love you again! Those petty little things that get under my skin about people just don't seem to matter anymore... yesterday I thought I'd never see them again and it hurt... so today I will smile at them and value every moment of friendship, no matter how strained. Yesterday I thought about the chores to be done and it actually made me sad to think I'd never get to prepare dinner for my family again, never get to fold the little boys' clothes, never get to iron a shirt for husband's work day... but now I get to! Surprise! I get to... love life. I love these people in it. Each day is a gift.
And really, it's true. Do I control the beating of my heart? Do I control each life-giving cell in my body? Do I control the drivers on the road? The Lord says, "Which of you can add a single hour to your life?" So each moment is given to me by this tender-hearted, merciful, soveriegn God and every day that I wake up is a surprise. I did nothing to deserve this extra day. So I will live as though I thought it wouldn't come.
Another day, Lord? Really, this is too good to be true. You are so generous! Thank you!