If Today Was Your Last Day

It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We all have just one life to live. We do not know how long we will be here, but it will not be forever. I think that makes time even more valuable. How we spend it matters. I love the song If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback that encourages us to appreciate each day as a gift and to consider what choices we would make today if tomorrow were too late.

My dad loved life. I recall how grateful he was for the simplest things. He had an extremely poor upbringing and difficult life. From a very young age he struggled to survive and went to bed often without having eaten any food. He came to America in the 50s in search of a better life and he soon found it. For some time, he had it all-a beautiful wife, children, successful businesses, a nice home-more than he could have ever imagined. He was very happy and blessed. My dad always had a passion and gratitude for life and an ability to live one day at a time with complete faith and trust that tomorrow would be a better day. But life took a negative turn when he and my mother divorced, and he began to make some poor choices. Yet even then, he was thankful for each day and tried to make the best of it.

What especially inspired me about my dad is that he not only lived each day fully, but he did not want to leave this earth without making peace with my mother. The day he asked her to forgive him, he was made free and so was she. He made an important decision to make peace, to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Actually, he begged her for forgiveness. That day he decided that he was going to say what he needed to say before it was too late. A week later he passed away.

There is nothing more unsettling as having regret over words left unspoken or deeds left undone. Did you ever wish you faced the fear and took the risk? Did you ever wish you told someone you loved them? Asked for forgiveness? How about letting go of the past or the anger that robbed your peace of mind and ability to live fully? Or how about taking the chances you had to help and change someone’s life for the better? I especially like this line in the song: Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try. So live like you’ll never live it twice. As long as you are still here, it is not too late to make good choices and live each day fully.

If today was your last day, what would you do? Are there words you have left unsaid? Do you want to tell someone that he or she is important to you? Is there someone you would call, someone who needs to hear you love him/her? Is there someone you would release and forgive? Can someone’s life be changed because you can make a positive difference? Do you have something you can give that can help someone in need? If your answer is yes to any of the above, I encourage you to do it now. Tomorrow may be too late. Time does not wait for us. Let us seize our opportunities while we still have them. Let us say what is in our hearts and do what we know we ought to do. Our decisions today can impact eternity for ourselves and for others.

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it I say!! Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows. ~Pope Paul VI

The question is not whether we will die, but how we live. ~Joan Borysenko

Copyright © 2010 Krystal Kuehn, New Day Counseling Center. All Rights Reserved.

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