Pretend for a moment that God has given you a special break: He has allowed you to be the only person on earth to receive 30 days notice of your death.
Most of us will never have a clue. We usually die suddenly and unexpectedly. Even if you’re elderly and ill, you could linger on a good while with no idea exactly when you would draw that last breath.
But you have been notified! You know you have a month to close out your life. What an incredible gift that would be. Armed with the knowledge that you have 30 days to prepare for your exit, think of what you could do!
Foolish people might consider traveling the world on their credit card, knowing they’d be dead before the bills came due.
But a wise person would never disrespect this gift. He or she would take advantage of the 30 days notice and wrap up the business of life.
If you knew you had only 30 days left, what would your priorities be?
Certainly you’d get your affairs in order. You’d finally get around to making that will you’ve talked about for the past 10 years. If there were any momentous items left on your “bucket list” you might try to check off a few of them.
And what about the people you love? Wouldn’t you want to spend some quality time with your family? Wouldn’t you try to spend as much time as possible with your parents, siblings, children, or grandchildren?
Wouldn’t you like to have at least one more weekend at the lake with close friends? One more romantic evening with your spouse or significant other?
We all procrastinate because we fool ourselves into thinking we have all the time in the world. But knowing you were down to your last 30 days would force you to focus on your real priorities.
Which brings us to what ought to be every human beings #1 concern when facing death: Are you ready to meet God?
Whatever your spiritual persuasion — religious, agnostic, atheist, humanist — knowing that death was right around the corner should motivate you to get serious about finding out what is real.
Because once you die, all the opinions, all the theories, all the religious arguments won’t mean a thing. You will be facing the only thing that really matters in eternity: the ultimate truth.
At the end of those 30 days, your relationship with Jesus will take on an enhanced eternal significance, because you will be spending forever in heaven with him, or forever in hell cast away from him.
Are you ready for that? I hope so.
My friendly challenge to you (and myself) for 2019 is to begin living by the “30-Day Rule.”
Ask yourself what you would do if you knew you only had 30 days left. Then do it. Why waste your precious time on anything that is less than really important?
Spend time with the people you love. Make amends to people you’ve offended. Try to be at peace with everyone you know. Start living with a 30-day horizon. Figure out what really matters. Move your true priorities to the top of your agenda.
Because no one knows just how much time they have left in this world. You may, in fact, already have less than 30 days left in your life . . . and you just don’t know it yet!
But even if you have 30 years left, won’t those years be more meaningful if you live by the “30-Day Rule” and treasure each day as a gift?
Whatever time is left in our lives, one thing is sure: We are all a day closer to eternity right now than we were yesterday. And the first step towards making the most of our time here is to realize how precious it is . . . and how soon it will be gone.
“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man’s life is but a breath.”
(Psalm 39:4-5, NIV)