“Most people live kind of in the middle, in between a dream come true and you’re dying. It’s a very comfortable place to live.” Zach Sobiech
Stuck in the middle is where many of us dwell. We hang out there. We like the middle. Americans like the comfort of the middle. We all have this fairy tale dream for a life that we want, yet try and ignore the fact that death is guaranteed.
A few weeks ago, I, with the rest of the internet, wept my eyes out over the story of Zach Sobiech’s life. His death was terribly sad, but the way that he lived was one the most beautiful things I had ever seen. As I have been speaking this summer, I have been sharing Zach’s story. If you haven’t seen the video I highly suggest you watch it, but you have been warned: grab a box (or case) of tissues.
Just last night, as I was heading home from spending the day celebrating my wife’s birthday, I picked up my phone to find a message about a Pastor friend of mine who was letting us know that he had terminal cancer. He was letting us know that he would be cutting back from working 60 hours a week, and was planning a trip to the beach with his family, and would be going to Disney World.
The beginning of the summer, I got to spend some time at Give Kids the World, an amazing place where kids can forget for a week that they are fighting a disease that will probably cost them their lives. I was amazed to see such joy inside of people fighting such pain. Cancer sucks. Finding out you are going to be fighting for your life that you will probably lose is more pain than I can wrap my head and heart around.
I don’t have cancer, as far as I know, but I do know I am going to die. You are going to die too. It may be soon, it may not. We burn too much of our time on this planet trying to figure out what kind of retirement we are going to have. Right now you and I are dying. I love what Zach said about this. “You can either sit in your basement and wait or you can get out there and do some crazy stuff”
I want to get to end of my life, whenever that is and say I did some crazy stuff. I did the things that God laid on my heart to do. I left nothing on the table. My life was not wasted just accumulating stuff that I can’t take with me, but investing in other people and living a life that left a legacy not just stuff.
I love James 4:14 in the NLT, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” Some other translations say vapor, some say mist. I love the idea of the morning fog, it gone before lunch and by the end of no one even remembers it happened. A trip to San Francisco will help you understand a little about morning fog. However you look at it, we are here today, but don’t have the promise of tomorrow.
I know I am suppose to write this book “Making Elephants Fly.” I need your help to make it happen. It one of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever made in my life. But as Mark Batterson says “Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.” There are many other big leaps on the horizon for me. More crazy adventures. More risks that others will say are stupid.
Our lives will soon be gone. So if you have a dream you wanted to make a realty, go do that. Go spend time with those that you love, no one regrets spending too much time with their loved ones on their death beds. If you have bucket list, start doing stuff. I know the excuses, I have them too, but if you just walked out of the doctor’s office and found out you were going to die, you would be doing a few things differently. Stop waiting for the diagnosis from the doctor. You are going to die. Now go and live while you still can.