How to Prepare to Die
For years now, my neighbor has been going around telling everyone that when he died, his greatest goal was to leave behind the biggest amassed collection of stuff that our town has ever seen. He wanted to be known as the man who had THE BIGGEST auction in the history of our entire county. He has just recently died and I think he probably managed to accomplish that, as he left behind three houses FULL of stuff. (The one across the street from us has 3 floors full of things, in addition to the front porch and the garage that are both full. The other two houses are a block away and they are equally as full.)
However, the thing that has been most interesting to me is hearing from the people that he spoke to in the final months leading up to his passing. He knew that he was dying. In fact, last November (2008) they told him he would not make it even a few months. They told him to stop driving and…well, basically to curl up and die. He refused. He made it eleven more months than they told him he would.
During those eleven months, he was very aware of how short the time was. He made a point to talk to more people. He wanted them to hear what he had to say. He wanted to talk with them about what was most important to him – and what he wanted them to remember about him. He wanted to share his passion for the treasures that he had collected. He wanted to share his general concern for the state of our nation and for the state of our community in particular. (He was especially concerned about the number of unemployed people in our area. Losing so much of the RV industry has hit our area pretty hard.) He was just looking for someone who had ears to hear his heart.
As I hear these stories, it occurred to me, as we prepare to die, we are most likely to share the things that are of greatest importance to us. I know if someone were to come to me with the news that their time on earth was short, I’d want to hear what they had learned in this life and what they considered to be THE MOST important. I remember, too, hearing Inga Cannon encourage us to parent as though our time was very short with our children, in order to keep the right focus.
That got me to thinking – what better way to prepare my heart/spirit for the new year, than to spend time this week focused on reading and meditating the things that Jesus shared at the very end of His life. What did He consider to be THE MOST important? What did He want us to remember about Him? I am hopeful that it will help me keep the right focus for my own life and help me to share in His greatest passion/s as well, because whether I can see it – or pin it down or not – time is short. And I want to make certain I have ears to hear His heart.
Blessings dear friend, upon your New Year! May you too have ears to hear and may both our faiths be enriched and expanded!
(copied from my musings on my FB account…again.) 🙂