A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a quote by popular British humorist and author, Erma Bombeck. She had been asked what she would have done differently had she the opportunity to live her life over again. After reading her reply, I couldn’t help but imagine how our lives would be remarkably different if we all thought about what we would like to have at the end of our lives and not just about what we want now.
It has oft been said that the man who lies at his deathbed doesn’t smile at how much he has acquired — the cars, houses, degrees, etc — things he would leave behind. Rather, he basks in simple thought of the lives he has touched, revels in the joy gotten from the relationships he built and sustained all through his life, and the impact he would have made on earth.
Bestselling author, Stephen R. Covey, in his powerful book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People titled the second habit Begin with the End in Mind. “To begin with an end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination,” writes Covey. It’s not strange to see a man of 50 or 60 bemoaning the life he lived in his youth. This usually occurs because he lived his youth thinking only of youthfulness. It probably never crossed his mind that there will ever be a day when he’ll be old. He never lived with a clear understanding of his destination.
The Prophet Moses prayed, “Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.” Imagine you had 5 more years to live. What would you do different? What will you change? That’s how to begin with an end in mind. I won’t want to lie on my deathbed with tears of regret. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to either. Like Moses, I will like to live each day wisely.
I share Erma Bombeck’s answer below. I found it thorough and engaging.
If I had my life to live over again I would have talked less and listened more.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.
I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.
I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more I love you’s, more I’m sorry’s, more I’m listening’s. But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it… look at it and really see it… try it on… live it… exhaust it… and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
What if had your life to live again? Would you change anything?
© Eleazar Maduka, 2017
Bottle of Water
As I reflect upon my recent travels, what immediately comes to mind is a picture I cannot shake off! It was our last day in Kurdistan. We were on our way for our last meeting in Erbil. The traffic was heavy. All of a sudden a car pulled up beside us at the traffic light and we heard screaming from that vehicle. It was a small pickup and everyone inside was weeping or sobbing, especially a woman who was clearly hysterical, smiting her forehead and her chest screaming in despair. Her husband (we presume) was trying his best to contain her. We didn’t know what to do until someone in our car said she must have just received news of someone’s death in her family. We reached out to them with a bottle of water, and somebody from their car took it and started to splash some of the water on the distraught woman. Continue reading
I have always been amazed at the seeming love that people have for disorder. Maybe it’s just Nigerians or Africans. Maybe it’s the entire human race. Right now, I don’t really want to place the “disorder tag” on anybody. I really do not want to. Let’s assume that humans just have a certain pull towards disorder. This actually makes sense if we consider the meaning of the word entropy. According to Wikitionary.org, entropy is the tendency of a system that is left to itself to descend into chaos. If I am permitted to view humans as individual systems, then I believe this heavily applies to them.
Luke 6:37, The Holy Bible
Welcome to the first post in a series that I have titled “The Judging Series“.
“A Christian is not supposed to judge.”
“How can one judge if one is not perfect?”
“Didn’t Jesus ask us not to judge?”
I’m sure that you must have heard such statements uttered before. You may have even heard more. The whole talk about judgemental Christians has gained popularity in the last few decades. A lot of people (Christians inclusive) classify Christians into two categories: judgemental Christians and non-judgemental Christians. I’ll try to paint a picture of both categories briefly. Continue reading
Game of Thrones
This will not be a long post. Because the issue doesn’t seem all that complicated.
I don’t understand Christians watching Game of Thrones .
Whenever there is a new episode, my Twitter feed overflows with people talking about Game of Thrones. First off, I’m always amazed that this many people have HBO. But second, and much more importantly, I’m always amazed that a number of people I respect–smart people, serious Christians, good conservative thinkers–are obviously watching (and loving) the series.
Many years ago in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, a missionary was preaching. As he stood in a dusty village marketplace, he held up his Bible and said, “This is God’s Book!” Then he told them people what was in it.
After he spoke, the crowd scattered. A man then approached him, layered in the handwoven robes of a village high in the Himalayas. He asked the missionary, “Is that really God’s Book?”
When someone says “church”, what immediately comes to mind would be a traditional Sunday Worship Service. I believe that`s why most folks (about 50 percent of the entire population in many local churches) find it easier to miss weekly services. Services like the Prayer Meeting and the Bible Study Meeting record such low turnout from members. Members don`t feel so bad when they don`t come to church on those days, but will have guilt overshadowing them when they try to miss a Sunday Service.
The atmosphere is different on Sundays. Everyone somehow looks tushed up on a Sunday. Even the members who attend weekly services will dress better on a Sunday. In other words, no meeting that occurs weekly in any local church equals the Sunday Service in importance to the average church-goer.
The controversial topic of service structure is one that I really try to avoid, but is also one that I have been unable to. What should be part of a service? How should a service be ordered? What should come before what? I`m sure you must have asked some of these questions before, except if you have not been attending church services. Now, I have friends who speak against services with such rigid structures that there actually is no space for spontaneity. They Holy Spirit, they argue, can be restricted in such services. Everyone will have their unique views on this. But what really makes a service complete? Continue reading