What If You Only Had a Few Weeks Left?


I woke up a couple days ago with this thought running through my head: If I knew I only had a few weeks left to live, what would I do differently? How would I make the most of my remaining days on earth? I’m not sure where that question came from, but attending the funeral of a friend’s dad later that day made it even more poignant.  

As I pondered the question, I was able to rule out a couple of possibilities right away. I wouldn’t spend my last days working harder. Nor would I spend them sunbathing on a tropical island (as appealing as that might sound). I don’t think those things would matter anymore. I would rather spend my last days with people I care about, talking about the hope and the joy to be found in knowing and following Jesus Christ. Honestly, I don’t know of anything more important than to be in loving fellowship with God through Christ and to know that those I love are too.

So, what’s most important to you? What would you want to spend your last days doing?

When I asked myself that question, I had to admit I would need to make some adjustments in my schedule to better reflect my values. So, I’ve started doing that.

After all, why wait until your last days to start really living for what matters most?

For some of us, our job demands a lot of our time. For many of us, whatever discretionary time we do have can be soaked up quickly by the enticements of whatever news or entertainment that happens to be available on our smart phones.  

These things may have their place. But if we wouldn’t choose to spend our last days doing these things, then why do we spend so much of our time on them now? Maybe we’re not living as well as we think we are. And that’s what has me rethinking my priorities.

In particular, I’m reevaluating my daily and weekly rhythms, asking myself how likely my current spiritual habits are to foster real spiritual growth in me and to equip me to disciple others effectively—especially my own family. I wonder if you’re concerned about that as well.

In our time-starved culture, the suggestion that we may need to spend more time on intentional discipleship is liable to overload our circuits. But it’s not about doing more. It’s about doing different. It’s about refusing to capitulate to the tyranny of a busy life when we can have a purposeful life instead. For me, it’s about pursuing a vibrant discipleship to Jesus and letting the fruit of that discipleship bless others.  

Friends, we need to stay focused on the important things—the things we would do if we knew we were running out of time. Because we are.