On Friday morning I got a voice mail from my dad at 7:00am. He said, “Call me back when you get a chance. Your grandmother died this morning.” Click.
For some of you, reading that last sentence might have you thinking, “oh man, sorry to hear that.” Well, thank you, but honestly I didn’t really know my mom’s mom. I spent a few sporadic days with her as a child and maybe have seen her only a handful of times since I was little. It’s just the nature of my family situation but I was never really close with any of my grandparents. I was the youngest of many kids and my grandparents have always lived a good distance from us. Obviously, I’m a little sad. Death is never something you can just balk at, or at least you shouldn’t.
This might sound weird, but I actually think about my dad dying a lot. Not because I want him to, of course, but because I know it’s going to happen some day. I think about his funeral and what I want to say. I think about how much of the family will be there and what I would want them to hear. I assume I’ll be able to speak at my dad’s funeral? Thinking about death is something we should do. For me, it keeps me “numbering my days” and “making the most of the time.” I don’t know why, I just think about it a lot. Even this afternoon I was playing with my 2-year old Titus and wondering what I would feel if God somehow took him. I would definitely be in pain, but because I know God is sovereign over everything I would hope that would keep my heart above water. I guess I just don’t want death to surprise me. I want to be ready, at all times, for death. It’s hard enough as it is to lose a friend or relative, so maybe by thinking about it more often I can try and minimize the hurt? I don’t know — I just know what goes through my head.
When I think about dying I realize that the individual days matter. What I’m doing right now at this very moment matters. It all adds up to the whole. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and think “man, I wish I would’ve ____________.” What is that? That kind of regret starts today somewhere. Whether it be spending time with my wife, kids, family or other things like reading the Bible more or working out to stay fit. I remember my friend in high school asking his mom if she was going to make it to our soccer game. She had a pretty intense job in the medical world. But she said, “Of course I will be. I won’t be at the end of my life thinking ‘wow, wish I would’ve worked more’. I’ll want to have spent more time with my family.” That’s making the individual days count — that’s thinking long term.