What would you do if you had been told you have a debilitating disease and you wonder how many more years you have? Let’s say five. Five years. What would you do? What would you say? How would that change the way you see the morning sunlight, the soft cheeks around you, the mess on the couch?
Where would you go and what would your priorities be?
I mean it.
What would you want to do if you had five more years? Think about it.
I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t worry about cleaning out my refrigerator, or coming up with a marketing plan, or Ten Goals to Make Myself The Perfect Mother. And I would NOT blog. (I’m not saying I’d never clean out the refrigerator or clean up the books on the couch, but I’d realize they really didn’t matter all that much. They aren’t the important things.)
I’d hug my babies. I’d kiss my husband. I’d resolve to speak gently to them all. And I’d
pray for the grace to do that each moment. I probably wouldn’t get as annoyed
with my kids. Because the thought that would be in my head would be: How do I
want them to remember me when I’m gone? Do I want their memories to be of being
yelled at or constantly corrected because they weren’t perfect? Or do I want
them to remember being cherished, gently taught, and given wisdom about God’s
world and those in it? I want them to know they were deeply loved.
I won’t be here always to guide my children. What will my legacy be? I can’t teach them every verse. There will be gaps in theology, just like in education. But is the fabric of their days loving God and loving others? I wouldn’t be able to do it all in five years. But I could teach them what I know and let them know, always, and forever, that they were deeply loved by a mother who adored them.
That is my prayer. Whether I live five years or fifty. Our time here is short. Who knows how long we have? Our days are numbered.
Teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom. Ps 19 11:13
And also, I would want our family to go to Kenya. By way of Egypt, and maybe Israel. I want my kids to know more about this world than our comfortable corner.
What would you do? Where would you go? What do you want to teach your children?
And, if all were stripped away, like it was for Gracia Burnam, could we really say:
In Christ alone
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
While I’m on the subject, another song from church this
week that made me cry. What about this one:
I’d Rather Have Jesus
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.
Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.
Would I? Really? Would you?
(And no, I’m not dying. Today, anyway. I’ve just been thinking.)
You are absolutely right. I actually do have a disease and have been faced with this thought recently. The only thing different is that I did not immediately focus. I spent some time sobbing, pouting, moping, throwing a child-like tantrum, being angry, etc and THEN I decided to focus on what was important. Still trying to figure out how to leave all those memories (be it sooner OR later), and no regrets but choosing JOY in the meantime. Choosing to be thankful.