Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What would you do if you had 30 days left?

"...and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said 'Someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying...'" - Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying

Let me start this post by saying I'm NOT trying to tell you guys anything--as far as I know I'm healthy as a horse and have MANY more days to live!

The reason I bring this up, though...Mrs jtj3 and I started of a book called "One Month to Live" with some friends in our neighborhood last night. The main question behind the study is this: how would you live your life differently if you only had a month?

It's been making me think--a lot--since last night. By coincidence (are you listening, Snow???), I had two fairly major decisions to make today. Finally I asked myself "How would I decide on 'a' and 'b' if I had 30 days to live?" It was amazing the clarity that question brings.

Which leads me to ask all of you, gentle readers--have you ever thought about what you would do? What would you do differently, or stop doing, or start doing, or do more of? Who would you call, write, or talk to? Would you travel more, or less?

There's no right or wrong answer--just what works for you. I can tell you, though, some of the things I'd do:

  • Fulfill my life goal of visiting 50 countries and all 50 U.S. states
  • Spend more time outside experiencing nature
  • Tell all my friends how much I love them (that includes you guys--so "Love you all!")
  • Not sweat the small stuff, and not get so easily offended at perceived slights or digs
  • Run--no, wait, FINISH--a marathon
  • Pray more
  • Read the Bible more

That's just the "off the top of my head" list, which I'm sure I will refine the list as I go along. Even though I'm not (again, as far as I know) at the end of my life, this is a good exercise to help me focus on the most important things.

By the way--there's a website to accompany the book, and it's at OneMonthToLive.com. The book and web site are written from a Christian perspective and have Bible references...however, the principles really apply to those of all faiths, or those with none.

More later...


snowelf said...

I actually do think about this an awful lot.
I should do a post on this...


jtj3 said...

Hey Snow, it's always good to know what your goals and dreams are--sounds like you've got a handle on it. If you post on this, let me know!

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

hi our jim ~ awh, **mwah**

awesome post. you said it well. you have a good heart man.

if i had one month left, first things first, i would take a month of leave from my career. i would continue to read and write and enjoy moments with others i care for.

thanks for asking. sweet dreams, beany :)

Rick said...

Great post, Jim. We just watched the movie, "The Bucket List", this past weekend, which covers this topic very well.

For me... it'd be one thing...
relationships. Again, for me, the first relationship I would invest more time in would be with God. Then, I would spend my time with everyone close to me, get in touch family or friends that I don't get to see too often, and let them know who much I care for them. I'd write my wife and daughters love letters. I'd write or tell my parents how great they have been and what a blessing they have been to me my whole life. I'd let those know that have impacted my life significantly, just how much they have, starting with my sister.

Unfortunately the clutter of everyday life... going about the business of our work, careers, taking care of home, family business, and other outside activities... muck up our time and ability to truly invest in what matters most in this life... relationships.

"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them , an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandmnet in the Law?' Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the seond is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Matthew 22:34-39

Seems simple enough.

Our lives and the world would be so much better if we all lived with a sense of urgency, like today might be our last day. Thanks for inviting this question.

Rick said...

Hey, Happy Belated Birthday, btw! I see you must have had one recently as we are presently not the same age.

Daniel said...

Very nice post, jtj3. I also have always liked that Tim McGraw song. Now I have to think about what I would do. Probably go someplace that I have never gone but always wanted to, with my daughter and wife. So many places too choose from, though....

jtj3 said...

Rick, funny you should mention that movie as I kept thinking about it during our study. And you're right, it is all about the relationships! God first, then family, then friends...

Oh and thanks for the belated b-day wishes. You are observant--yes, I did celebrate a birthday!

Daniel thanks for the kind words. I'm like you in that I would probably want to travel, but where to start??? Maybe an "around the world" trip?

jtj3 said...

AUGH Beany sorry I missed your comments! You make a good point about a leave of absence...I mean, I love my work and it's challenging and all, but with 30 days left...PFFT. It'll take care of itself!

Take care man...

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

our jim ~

soooo agree! "what really matters most?" would definitely be going through my mind more and i would not feel guilty at all for taking that leave of absence from work.

great day to ya. so glad it is friday, the end of my work week. looking forward to my weekend off. hope all is well with you and yours today. peace, beany :)