Make your own life even better

Rick Wipf

Rick WipfGuest Columnist

If you’ve tuned in to a country radio station anytime in the past few years and by some sheer force of will, or because it was the only station your antennae could pick up, you kept listening, chances are you heard Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying”. And if you did get to hear it, I’m sure it was a refreshing break from the endless songs about guys mourning the loss of their girlfriend, their dog and their pick-up truck, all while they drank a six-pack of beer with their buddies.

McGraw’s song follows the story of a man who learns that he doesn’t have long to live, so he decides to pursue life with all the gusto he can muster. He sky dives, goes rock climbing, rides a bull and mends broken relationships. The guy lives like he was dying. Seems ironic, doesn’t it? He finds out he’s dying, so he decides to live. He decides to experience things he hadn’t had time to do before. He becomes the husband and friend he always should have been. He reads the Bible and reevaluates his life. Towards the end of the chorus, he says, “Some day, I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dyin'”.

I’d be willing to bet that most of the people reading this column haven’t just received the news from their doctor that they have a terminal disease. And if you’re in your late teens or early 20s you’re probably still in that “I’m-invincible-and-nothing-in-the-world-can-stop-me” stage. But the truth is, even if you haven’t received that fateful phone call from your doctor, you’re still dying. Yeah, I know. It might not happen tomorrow. Or next week. Or for 20 years. But it will happen.

So, the question is: are you living like you were dying? Now let’s be clear. I’m not talking about the “eating and drinking and being merry for tomorrow we die” thing. And I’m not talking about Prince’s “party like it’s 1999” thing. I’m talking about living your life in pursuit of what really matters. Not some guy. Not some girl. Not your major. Not a wonderful career and a big house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids. Because you know what? All those things, as great as they are, won’t last forever. But one thing will: your soul.

Towards the end of the song, McGraw sings, “(live) like tomorrow was a gift, and you got eternity, to think about what you’d do with it”. Truth is, you will have eternity to think about what you did with your life. To think about what you pursued. To think about what you valued. And to decide whether or not it was worth it. The only way you’ll be able to truthfully say it was worth it, is if you lived your life for Jesus Christ, focused on what was really important and lived like you were dying.

Erwin McManus says, “God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life”. So, are you just counting the days to the weekend, or are you making your life count?

Join us for our “why you breathe” series in Oasis on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. at Brookings Wesleyan Church. Your life may never be the same.

Rick Wipf is the pastor at Brookings Wesleyan Church. Contact Wipf at [email protected].