Friday, February 11, 2011

Without Regrets

Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. (Zephaniah 1:14 NAS)

24 HoursWhen a group of online forum participants were asked what they would do if they know they have 24 hours left to live, many of them responded with similar answers. They would want to meet up or at least write letters to bid their loved ones and friends farewell, expressing to them their love and regrets.

“I’d spend it with my son, and drive around and see all my friends, say goodbye, and family members,” said one forum participant. Another said, “[I would] surround myself with everyone I love. Eat a delicious meal with my family and hold my daughter close to me every second.” Yet another said, “If I could, I would attend Mass, then visit all my close family … and tell them how much I loved them. I would … go out into the countryside, sit down by a campfire with my family all around and pray for a while, and then we could all discuss our lives, our love for one another and bond for one final time. Then wrapping up warm and lying down looking at the heavens, the beauty of them, enjoy the love and peace that surrounds me and prepare myself to meet my maker for judgment.”

“I would spend the first few hours of my day writing notes and letters of gratitude to all the people that I love and have been hurt by me, no matter where they live,” said Grace Boyle, blogger of “I [would] look at these letters as a hello, good-bye, thank you, I love you, you’re special to me, always will be. I would then choose to be home with my family and friends. We would open our best bottles of wine, cook together, reminisce, tell stories and enjoy delicious food … [I would] relive my life by going through my photo albums ... I imagine I want to say ‘until next time …’ because there are no real good-byes. I want to soak in the happiness instead of the despair. I would spend a few moments alone forgiving myself of any mistake I felt I made, reflecting on the beauty of my life, the risks I took and finally, feeling at peace.”

King Hezekiah, when he was told by Isaiah the prophet he would die and not live, sought the LORD, and God granted him another 15 years (2 Kings 20:1-6). Not everyone however may get a second chance or has his or her life extended like Hezekiah. If we are to return home to be with the Lord and we have 24 hours left to put a closure to our lives on earth, what would we do? Would we be ready, or would we leave with regrets? Do we have anything unsettled today that we need to make up with people we know? Would we, like King Hezekiah and one of the forum participants mentioned above, first seek God before doing anything else?

Dr. Carla Goddard, another forum participant, in answer to the question on living one’s last 24 hours said, “[I will do] the same things I have done today. When you live your life as though every moment is a priceless gift, there is not a single thing more important than what you are doing at any given moment.”

Like what Dr. Goddard said, and as believers in the Lord, we should also be ready to answer God’s call home or for His sudden return (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10). The day of the LORD is near and is coming very quickly (Zephaniah 1:14). We may wish to bid farewell to our loved ones if we know we have 24 hours left to live and hope to move on to the next life in peace. This, however, is only possible if we have Christ as our Lord and Savior and if we live our lives now without regrets, free from unsettled relations or entanglements (Luke 9:57-62; Hebrews 12:1).

Help us therefore dear Lord to be always on watch to do what is right without regrets or unsettled relations or entanglements. Do not let us be caught unexpected Lord when it is time for us to meet You face to face. Keep us abiding in You every moment of our lives Lord that even when facing death, we need not fear, for we have victory in You.

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