“As a time for every purpose under heaven unfurls, we witness a time to be born and a time to die.” (Eccl 3:1-2)
Imagine the sands of time have run their course, and you’ve been granted the prescience of your final day. How would you choose to spend your last twenty-four hours? Perhaps you’d scramble to accomplish the unfulfilled wishes on your ‘bucket list’? Or maybe you’d wish to be enveloped by the warmth of your family’s presence? Would prayer and scripture be your solace? The unsettling truth is, we are never privy to the exact hour of our final earthly farewell. That solemn knowledge resides solely with God, our Creator. He who marked the commencement of our life journey is the same who knows its sunset. As the Psalmist recounts in Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
The book of James admonishes us against presumptuous outlooks regarding our future. He reminds us, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit – 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.” (James 4:13-14). This calls us to embody the spirit of carpe diem, and seize the day, as we tread the path of our unpredictable lives.
Each morning, as I kiss my wife goodbye, and bid my children and grandchildren adieu, I am cautious to remind them of my enduring love. I am conscious that my parting words might well be the last they hear from me. I want to ensure that my final echo in their lives is an affirmation of my unwavering affection for them. This desire stems from the firm belief that the act of expressing love never fails to touch hearts (1 Cor 13:8a).
As we navigate the course of our lives, let us vow to live each day as if it were our last. Let every sunset be a testament to love and every dawn a fresh canvas to paint our earnest efforts. Because, in the end, all that remains and truly matters is love.