(…continued) Our greatest fear is the fear of death, because death means the end of all our earthly connections. Only when all those other connections are already severed by ill health or loneliness does death begin to look like a friend. But as long as we are still in relationships that give life meaning and joy, as long as we are connected to those people and things that make life worthwhile, we don’t want to die and lose those connections.
The truth of this is made clear in a country western song by Tim McGraw called Live Like You Were Dying. The singer is talking to an old friend and the friend says to him: “I was in my early 40’s, with a lot of time before me, when a moment came that stopped me on a dime; and I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays, talking about the options and talking about sweet time…” McGraw then asks his friend, “When it sank in that this might be the end, man, what do you do when you get that kind of news?” And the friend said, “Well, I went sky diving, and I went Rocky Mountain climbing,” and some other fun things. But then he got to what was most important, saying:
I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying. I finally was the husband that most of the time I wasn’t, and I became a friend a friend would like to have, and all of a sudden, goin’ fishin’ wasn’t such an imposition, and I went three times that year I lost my dad. Well, I finally read the Good Book, and I took a good long hard look, at what I’d do if I could do it all again; And he said, someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.
That is a great song. He is talking about how the prospect of death, and the loss of all he was connected to, made him cherish all those connections. Most of the song speaks of relationships; marriage, friendship, love, forgiveness, and faith.
There is a warning in the words of Jesus in John 15:6 when he says, “If anyone does not abide in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned.” When we hear those words we might think of hell, but it doesn’t have to mean that. It might just pointing out the fact that only in Christ is there any hope of an ongoing enjoyment of the blessings of our relationships. Only in Christ do we have a hope of hanging on to anything after death. Tim McGraw’s song speaks of the fear of losing everything in death, the fear of losing all those connections and relationships. Fire destroys everything in its path, and so does death. But Jesus speaks of a connection that continues even beyond death. To remain in him is to have an eternal abiding place. Jesus came to show us the way to receive this eternal promise be ready for that eternal home. Abide in him.
Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw, #1 Country song of 2004
Watch the official video at:
He said “I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
When a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays
Talking ’bout the options and talking ’bout sweet time”
I asked him when it sank in
That this might really be the real end
“How’s it hit ‘cha when you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d ya do?”
And he said
“I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin'”
And he said, “Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'”
He said, “I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden goin’ fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I, I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again”
And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’
Like tomorrow was a gift
And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it
What did you do with it?
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?
WHERE THE BIBLE ADVISES YOU TO ‘LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING’
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
And Romans 14:7-8:
For none of us lives for ourselves alone,and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
And Philippians 1:21:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Teach us to number our days aright, O Lord, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.