Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Three Years to Live..

"If you knew you had only three years to live, what would you do with your life?"

On impulse, I bought a book titled "Power Questions", but Andrew Stobel. The thought is that through reading the book, I can become inspired to ask the sorts of questions that lead to more meaningful conversations. Towards the end of the book, I met the above question (in slightly different words).. It gets me thinking....

I've decide that I will start asking people this question. First up, the two friends with whom I am currently in dialog. After hearing out their answers, I offer to share my own thoughts, which they are of course dying to hear.

What is interesting is that when I think about this question, I'm in a way starting to live it already in my head. I almost feel that if I were to find out that my fate were to be that short of a life, I'd be ready to take it right now (not necessarily ready in efficiency, but ready, as in, I wouldn't have to struggle to accept it), and I find the challenge almost exciting. The unlived live is not worth worrying about, and I'd let God be in control, so why worry? It would really make life much simpler. All my thoughts for the future would be taken care of..
Perhaps I'd become more frantic towards the end, but at the beginning, at least, I have no fear.

Here's a refined version of what I ended up writing, as my answer to the question.

Since I'm already only thinking about 2-3 years out with life generally right now, it makes it easier. I'd start out by just going ahead with the plans I have. I'd prepare for and take my bike trip, ending up in Florida, where I would go through the School of the Prophets training program run by JR Cofer..

Then after that, I'd see no need for going to college, so I'd be freed of that decision, and it makes no sense to get married if you're only going to live for 3 years, so I wouldn't pursue that. However, since I'd have nothing to loose, and it could be encouraging to someone else, I would allow the girl on my mind to know exactly what I thought about her, and why..

I'd have to spend lots of time with my family, for sure...

Ideally, I would then spend the rest of my life traveling around, introducing people to the God I love, and because of whom, dying before the age of 23 was not a problem. I'd keep up a blog, and a journal.. I'd provide materials such that someone would have an easier time writing a book if they wanted to. I'd certainly become more bold about everything - social interaction, potentially dangerous people and situations - because, well, I won't die earlier, and I have limited opportunities, so, hey, lets go for it! I'd probably spend the last of it in the Walla Walla area, unless I found some place that really appealed to me to stay there..

The question that comes to mind is, why not live like this already? Specifically in regards to singleness of focus, boldness, and not worrying about everything. If I could just put my life in God's hands right now, certainly he could use me just as effectively as if I knew I had only 3 years to live. Why can't I trust Him as fully to manage my life, which may indeed last for 4, 5, 6, 7, even 8 more decades, as I could to manage 3 years? Why is it that I can give Him the remnant happily, but feel much more reluctant to give Him the majority of the stock? Why is it that only the risk of dying could spur me to be focused and efficient? (whether or not this is the exact case, it's a good place to start analysis..)

Interestingly, this topic, of not living a long life full of endless possibilities, is not new to me. I've actually wondered why it seems I think about it so often. Not obsessively, by any means, but from time to time, every now and then.. I've thought about it enough to realize that, in dying young, some have had their greatest witness for truth. I want my life to be a witness, but to have my death be a greater witness to others? Thinking about it, I find to be both frightening and captivating. But in the past frightening was the greater of the two. Today however, the idea didn't even really bother me.

Then there was the thought, not as a last reluctant hope, but simply a thought.. If I were to know I had only 3 years to live, and then dedicated my life fully and completely to God in that time, maybe He would see fit to do as he has with many a personal vehicle or other item which had given it's owner troubles, until given to God to take care of, after which it worked without a hitch for decades. God can do amazing things, you know? Fear of circumstances is so out of place in dealing with Him..

Then there's the thought.. Perhaps this question will have the power to completely change the way I see the world around me, and interact with it on a daily basis..

So, something new, and I don't care if you're reading this 10 years after I first posted it. I'd like to hear what you would do if you had only 3 years left to live. Please post in a comment, in as much or little detail as you would like. Do so anonymously if you prefer. Or, if that is still too much to share publicly, contact me through my profile. And even if you don't do that.. At least think about it.

If you could compress all your life goals, dreams, and aspirations into the next three years, what would you do? What is keeping you from doing it now?

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