A study was done on human behavior in Britain in 2014 where thousands of people were asked “if possible, would they want to know when they were going to die?” 29% answered “yes” but only on the condition that they could do something to prevent it. That number dropped to only 11% if the scenario was that they would only know a date on the calendar and be forced to count down the days until they die.
So nearly 90% of people would rather be surprised by the day/time of their death, than to have that knowledge. I’ve also heard numerous studies that site “death” as the number 1 fear in the world.
Conclusion? People fear the unknown – and they prefer to keep their “head in the sand” regarding bad news. I couldn’t possibly disagree with these instincts more…
If we knew when our time on Earth was coming to an end, wouldn’t it motivate us to pursue the things that were most important, live more freely and appreciatively, or at the very least, cause us to reprioritize. If anything, I have learned that everyone should live like they are in remission. Don’t wait for “someday”….
Death is inevitable, therefore we are all “terminal”. Living with that awareness, at least brings to the forefront an accurate perspective…..that our time on this Earth is very temporary and it is full of burdens, toils, and pain. Life in Christ is eternal and full of abundance.
“The dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them…He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” – Rev 21:3-4
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
I feel like I should share with you that I started writing this post from the waiting room of Tara’s Oncologist office while she was undergoing tests to determine if, six months after her hospital release, she is or is not cancer free. (We’ve learned that Dr.’s offices never use the term “cancer free” but only say “remission”……which is why we use the term “cancer free” quickly, often and loudly.) From here in my post: you can add about 5 weeks since that day in the Dr’s office and our discovery that Tara is in fact, 100% CANCER FREE!!!
This wonderful news has not changed our feelings about living fearlessly, adventurously, and with an appreciation for the present one bit. That attitude has in fact, been expanded as we are at eternal peace placing our prayers at God’s feet for life’s big decisions as we transition away from our “nomadic adventure” and search for the best career choice, the right home and city to raise our family. Our life’s purpose is to fill His purpose and we do so, with gratefulness and peace in our hearts. We are absolutely NOT treating this next life move as time to “settle down”. Instead, we have come to realize that life is far too short, and you have to treat each new chapter as an ADVENTURE!
So, I conclude by encouraging you too, to live with abandon. Live like you are in remission or as James Dean said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, but live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”
“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for THE LORD, putting all my energy and strength into it.” – Elisabeth Elliot