It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on Earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Meditation: When I worked in the hospital as a chaplain, I encountered many families and individuals who were experiencing death. I remember it was the first anniversary of my wedding day when I sat with a young woman whose husband was dying. It tore my heart having to see her say good-bye to her husband, when I was able to go home and embrace mine. I also remember working with premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit. My twin girls had been delivered healthy and full-term, while these babies were struggling to live. I accompanied many couples on their journey of saying “good bye” to their beloved baby. When we encounter death, it changes us. We suddenly don’t take our husband or our children for granted anymore. We cherish every moment. We intentionally kiss each other good bye in the morning or say more than once a day that we love each other. We also pay more attention to those we work with every day. We refrain from superficial talk and gossip and instead seek to have meaningful conversations. We have limited time on Earth and with each other. So we live each day, each conversation and each encounter to the fullest, as if it was the only and the last one we have.
Prayer: Loving God, often we feel surprised and even terrified by death. We don’t expect it, as we try not to think about it, because we often fear it. You invite us to befriend the notion that we have limited time. You want us to live more fully and more mindfully in the here and now. Time is precious. Moments with those we love are gifts we are not taking for granted. And so our attention is heightened. Our words focus not on trivial things, but on what truly matters. We live attentively. We pay attention to where You want us to be present and be a witness of Your love today. And we are grateful. Amen
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6 (ESV)