What is your favorite day of the year?
I once read that most people respond to that question by citing their birthday. I can’t prove that with data, but I have asked friends — and as long as I say “day” instead of “holiday” they invariably smile and give me the date of their birth.
My own favorite is Columbus Day.
When I was a boy, Columbus Day was still celebrated on October 12th. I believe we were even given the day off school. Like much of American history, the statues are gone, the replica of the Santa Maria in Columbus, Ohio, is gone, and the day is now despised by many.
So be it. I’ve no pony in that race. I’m an observer, not a trendsetter.
Why I’ve such an affinity for October 12 is a mystery to me — other than it is a day that has often signified a major change in my life, whether external or internal. Yesterday, then, when I realized the calendar read October 11 … I began to wonder what might happen today, October 12th, 2023.
That’s when I got the shock of my life: It occurred to me that October 12th will be the day of my death. It’s not my birthday. It is my death day. Perhaps.
What If You Knew You Would Die Tomorrow?
Whether I die today or not is in hands other than mine. God has appointed a day for me, and His will is all that counts. But the thought prompted me to seriously ask myself, “What would you do today if you knew you would die tomorrow?”
If you’ve never tried that yourself, do try it. For me, it was an eyeopener. I found that I would still do most of the things I had planned. I would work to help my clients, I would take time in the evening to relax and enjoy time with the son who still lives with me. I would not pig out on junk food. And I certainly wouldn’t go on a spending or drinking or anything else spree.
I would slow down, though, and I wouldn’t worry about things outside my control. I would be more willing to trust that God has a grip on everything bothering me. I would take a long walk by the river and enjoy time in nature. I would be kinder to others and allow them more slack. I would make sure my children know I love them forever. I would recall Scripture and trust in the redemption promised to me by the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
But, I would be disappointed if I died now. And for just one reason: I don’t believe I’ve completed my assignment here. There is still more for me to do. I want to get in more game time and less time sitting on the bench watching others take the hits. I want to write The Someday Plan book and launch the course. I want to work for and in the Kingdom of God while there is yet time.
So, I pushed chores that could wait aside and sat down at the keyboard. Yesterday, I finished about a fifth of the new book, and I hope to get the course up within three more days. The question gave me new inspiration and a keener sense of how quickly life goes by. There is no time to waste on needless worry, fear, or selfish ambition. I have an assignment from God. He is my primary employer. I serve the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Don.
Here’s What I Heard Next
I didn’t hear a voice from Heaven, but I did “hear” an internal voice informing me that since I was willing and eager to pursue my personal assignment (The Someday Plan work) my time would be extended.
I felt an instant sense of relief.
I know that, barring the rapture of the Church in my lifetime, I must face death at some soon point. We all must. That is the way life goes. We will all get one last breath and one final day here. That much seems certain.
It’s still October 12th as I write this, and my day of death might yet be today. But I’ve a new desire to see The Someday Plan finished. Not so I can get paid in dollars, or get an ego boost, or any of that. I’m just a beggar who found bread and wants to let other beggars know where it is.
So, how about you? Have you asked yourself the “What would I do today if I knew I would die tomorrow” question?
For me, it was a powerful, eye-opening experience. I hope the same for you.