What If You Had Your Life to Live Over Again?

What If?..

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

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Must Read! Prophecies For Year 2017

2017 Calendar

2017

Yes! It’s that time of the year again. It’s time to get your pen and book ready as we await fresh prophecies from several men of God. If you’re in Nigeria, then don’t bother getting any book. Why? Because you’ll most probably exhaust the book with prophecies and not be done. Or your fingers will grow numb after the first 20 pages.
Are prophecies wrong? Oh, no! They’re not. Prophecies are meant to help us know the path to follow. Well, if any word is from God, then that word must be able to guide His people in any dispensation or age. Are prophecies necessary? Yes, they are. If the Giver hasn’t stopped giving, why should the receiver ask if the gift is necessary? As long as the gift blesses the receiver and the Giver chooses not to stop giving, then I guess we should all enjoy the gift.
However, so many have made it a habit of pursuing prophecies for every New Year. Are they wrong to pursue prophecies? No, they’re not. If prophecies are not wrong, then it shouldn’t be wrong for those whom the prophecies are meant for to receive them. They are free gifts. Gifts are meant to be enjoyed. But when only these prophecies guide us, then we are of all men most miserable.
The last thing that a believer should seek to get as 2016 draws to a close is the usual New Year prophecies. Am I against prophecy guiding believers? No, I’m not. In fact, I believe that there are certain moves of God that will never take place without a word of prophecy going forth. You can see that all through scriptures. Whenever something big is coming, God sends prophets. Prophets help prepare the hearts of the people for the future. They are the town criers. They are responsible for informing the entire community of what’s coming.
Should we then, as believers, neglect our own altars and rely solely on these prophecies? No. If you plan of waiting for prophecies to begin to roll out from big ministries in the next few days and want to plan your 2017 based on those prophecies, then you’re not ready for the New Year. These prophecies are not for you! Have you ever received any New Year prophecy bearing your name? Whenever these prophecies come, they usually come for a territory, a group or a nation. So, if I wait patiently for these prophecies, and do nothing else but wait, then I’m not ready for the New Year.
One can listen to a prophecy and understand where one fits. That’s how we should listen to prophecies. Truth be told, over 70% of the prophecies that you’ll see will probably have nothing whatsoever to do with you. So, why do we wait for them as though they are God’s blueprint for our lives? They come to guide a specific territory. We, however, need guidance for our lives.
In a time as this, there is no better prophecy to receive than that which comes directly from God to us. Yes, if He’s interested in guiding a people, group or nation, then He’s interested in guiding you. He treats one just as He treats all. So many believers don’t recognize that God is waiting for them to come for directions. He is! Take your eyes of the territorial prophecies and receive your word from God!
The coming days are very important days. They are days that should be full of prayer and planning. Get those knees bent and start praying! Get that book out and start planning! No man of God will do that for you. It`s your life and you must plan how it goes. Rely on His guidance as you plan for the New Year.
So, what exactly is my prophecy for the New Year? It`s simple. I present a quote from one of my favorite authors, Clive Staples Lewis: “The duty of planning tomorrow’s work is today’s duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.”
Start planning! The year is full of so much blessings and goodness. The man who plans today will eat tomorrow till he can eat no more.
Happy new year, folks!

 

© Eleazar Maduka, 2016

Before You Countdown To 2017

Countdown To 2017

I was partially in shock this morning when I looked at the date on my phone and saw that it was 30th November, 2016. The date wasn’t what really shocked me. It was the fact that it was the last day of the 11th month of the year. The next day would usher in the last month of 2016. I was with my younger brother at the time. I looked at him and asked, just to be sure, “November has just 30 days, right?” He looked at me and said, “Yes.”

Now, my brother can be very funny when he wants to. Sarcasm is second nature to him. I looked at him smile and doubted if he had been speaking the truth. I immediately recited a rhyme I learnt many years ago in elementary school.

30 days have September, April, June and November

All the rest have 31, except February alone

Which has 28 days, and 29 days in each leap year

I don’t know if other people still use that rhyme. But I’ve found it extremely difficult to let that rhyme go. It has helped in so many ways. Yes, that rhyme was inspired by God!

Immediately after I had confirmed that November had 30 days, the first thing to escape my lips was, “Wow.. so it’s 25 days to Christmas!” Now, that’s the first time I’ve used a countdown in a long while. My birthday was last week Wednesday. Guess what? My friends had been doing the countdown for me. They had been my reminders. I’m not a fan of countdowns. I don’t know why. It’s not like any countdown has ever disappointed me. I just don’t do it. Except on rare occasions.

After I had said that, I began to see, for the first time this year, the year ahead – the year 2017. And my mind quickly registered that this year had just 31 days to go. Awesome, right? Well, in my own opinion, countdowns to any new year are serious tasks.

Before you countdown to 2017, close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. So many of us get so caught up in holidays like Christmas, New Year, Easter, etc. that we really miss out very salient points which I think are worthy of note. I remember writing at the start of the year how January 1st Was Just Another Friday. What really matters is not the fact that another cycle begins. Really, what else do most of us really countdown to? Just another cycle. We start from January 1st and move to December 31st. Same circle, just with a digit difference in the year – 6 just changes to 7.

I believe that what matters more than any countdown is how much you’ve done in 2016. Can you still remember your resolutions for 2016? Can that precious paper where you wrote down your goals for the year still be found? Or did it find its way to the waste bin sometime in April? Can you remember half the things you had planned to do you while were crossing over to 2016? How many of those goals are no longer goals but achievements? Can you say that you’ve grown in 2016? I believe that these things are bigger and weightier than any countdown.

So, before you countdown, take a sheet of paper and retrospect. Look back at the year and assess yourself. If you’ve started your countdown already, sending messages and informing people (who already know that the year is coming to an end soon) that it’s 31 days to 2017, I strongly advise that you take a break. List out your successes. List out your failures. List out your mistakes.

I won’t be the best person to tell you how to assess your year. You can do that on your own. But, seriously, take some time out to look at the year 2016 and score yourself. Use your goals and resolutions as the master score sheet and assess yourself. Do this before you continue with your countdown to 2017.

Don’t forget to drop your comments. I’ll love to hear from you. Do you think countdowns are a big deal?

Adiòs!