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
I was told the other day that my brother,
One with whom my very soul was knit with,
Had been struck down by a torrential rainstorm –
One of bullets that had been created by old sweats
Then I was told of countless other brothers,
Innocent, young and extremely ambitious men,
That had fallen by the wayside, beaten and broken
I call them brothers because they are human
They had been inordinately desirous of power;
Promises of a better world serving as a drug,
Diurnally got them to a state of stupendous high –
They are brothers, nonetheless, and they are men
The hearts of our mothers beat wildly each morning;
“I`m off to school,” sounds like, “Goodbye, mama”
Our fathers can only smile after everyone returns home;
“When will this end?” they wonder, “How will this end?”
But we must summon courage and pick up arms
Else the next spilled blood might be on our doormats
We are soldiers and we must act like ruthless ones
We must unsheathe our swords – God wills it!
We don`t need guns – we have swords, shields,
Breastplates, helmets, belts and the Gospel
The clock ticks with the passing of every second
And our adversary advances, breaking our very ranks
Peter was in chains when his brothers prayed all night
Paul continually offered up prayers for all the saints
Dear believer, can we lose sleep in a time like this?
We must stand like brothers – God wills it!
© Eleazar Maduka, 2017
Below I share what I believe to be 10 very vital points that I believe everyone should take note of when we consider the subject of judging.
Kindly note that they are mine and could be edited (points could be added and/or removed). I’m not saying that this is all you need. I’m saying that this could be helpful to you as a Christian. Continue reading
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
I personally believe that Jesus is one of the most controversial figures in history. In my opinion, Jesus of Nazareth is the only man who has a personality that is either distorted or misinterpreted by different worldviews. He has one true identity, but this has never stopped men from creating images of Him that suit their numerous ideologies and worldviews.
In certain circles, He is seen as a prophet and nothing more. In others, a great moral teacher. Some others see Him as one great man that met His demise too early. It is interesting to note that Jesus is one of the only personalities that cut across so many worldviews and religions on earth. They quote Him, respect Him, worship Him misguidedly and even await His return. Because one worships or acknowledges the ministry or life of Jesus doesn’t make one a true believer.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Excerpt from Courageous Living by Michael Catt, Senior Pastor, Sherwood Church, Georgia.
I remember the first day she smiled at me
She had tied my heart with strong reins
And I became a willful captive, bound by
The simple thought of my mistress
Her voice became my very bread, I
Would wake up everyday hoping to hear
The voice that made me come alive inside,
The words that could set me on fire