Living Terminal & Other Thoughts on Turning 40

Living Terminal & Other Thoughts on Turning 40

When you drive your car and the odometer rolls over a zero, it’s a big deal. In life, when a birthday ends in a zero, you are stuck in the balance of buying a convertible or a grave site. Mid-life crises are so two thousand and late. Don’t look for me to buy a Mazda Miata and my grandparents left me a grave site in their will. I am wondering if I qualify for a senior discount at the movies, though. Although I am too young to wear velcro shoes with black socks up to my knees, I have been thinking a lot about life — how I have spent the time I’ve been here so far, and how I plan on spending the time I have left.
This year has been a year when friendships died a sudden death, I watched loved ones cling to life in the ICU, others fight cancer like Ali fought Frazier in Manilla, and the sad reality of watching others miss out on actually living. I am not sure what has been going on in Jon Foreman’s life, but it seems like once again he has hacked into my life and is reading my mail. His song “Terminal” gets me every time. Especially these lyrics….
Some folks die in offices
One day at a time
They could live a hundred years
But their soul’s already died
Don’t let your spirit die before your body does
We’re terminal….
The idea isn’t a new thought but one I wrote about a lot in Making Elephants Fly that I still can’t get out of my head, I even wrote about it HERE. Here is what your financial planner will tell you. Now is the time that you have to get really aggressive about planning for retirement. Here is when I should start thinking about making plans for what happens after I am gone. Now while retirement planning may be critical to many. Here is what I know: so many make plans to retire; they make plans to die, yet they forget to live along the way. No matter how much stuff we accumulate, none of it goes with us.
My Nany (my grandmother) had one dream, and it was to travel to Israel and see the Holy Land. She was buried with that dream. If you are looking for a book to read about this idea I highly recommend my friend Marty Cauley’s Dying to Go on Vacation. I refuse to take a life un-lived with dreams undone to my grave. Our time on this planet is limited. Life hits hard. We face setbacks, have unmet goals, betrayal happens, and we fail…that is reality. How we respond is what goes down in history. We have to take Jon’s advice and “Don’t let your spirit die before your body does.” The way we do that is to choose to live. Choose to stop putting things on some list that you will never do and start living.
I have no idea if I will live another forty years. In the last forty, I have been blessed with a mom who sacrificed everything for me, a brother who showed up by surprise twenty years ago, a wife that loves me and all of my flaws, and a group of friends who keep pushing me to be a better version of myself. Over my 40 years, I have wasted a few chasing things that didn’t matter, but looking back I can see the best things I did when I invested my life in people. God has allowed me to be on the front lines of life change for the last 25 years non-stop. I have seen redemption firsthand. I have been blessed to pour my life into the calling that He has placed on my life.
Going into this next season, I have no idea what lies ahead, but I do know that I don’t plan on planning to die because that is already planned for me. So what I am planning to do is live. To invest my life in the people I love and the things that will live and breathe long after I am gone. I won’t forget how Jon dared me to live, and I am so glad he reminded me that I am dying. I don’t plan on worrying about it because I know who holds the future. However long I am here, I sure plan on living.
I beg you to do the same. Stop reading and go live…….You’re Terminal.

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