On the day that my body is lowered into its grave, I want my life to be completely spent. I don’t want a single person to point at me and say “that man died without using all of his potential.”
I intend to live my life every day until I die. I intend to grow every day of my life until I die. And when my life is through, I want to die. No sooner and no later. I want to cross my finish line and know that I have given all I have. I don’t want to have another mile left in me.
I pray that God gives me enough energy to make it to the finish line and then it is all right if I collapse. If I collapse at the end of my journey, it will be because I gave all I had. At the time I reach my finish line, I will have run my race. When I reach the finish line I want to close my eyes, and with a smile on my face whisper, “Lord, it was worth it all.”
This is my prayer, “Lord, on the day that my body is lowered into its grave, I want it to be spent.” For at that time it is no longer of any use. I want my life to end not with a period, but with an exclamation mark!
I refuse to sleepwalk through life. There is too much to be experienced. I want to laugh every chance I can. I hope at times I laugh so hard that my face hurts. And when it is time to cry, may big tears roll down my cheeks and may my heart ache.
God has blessed me with many gifts; gifts I am not worthy of, but gifts He intended for me to use and not be wasted. God knows how many gifts are wasted. My challenge is not merely to use every gift I have been given; it is to use each gift to its fullest.
I want to recognize as I live my life on this planet, that it is not any earthly destination that is important. Destinations come and go. It is the journey, traveled one step at a time, that counts. The journey is determined by the sum of choices, made one at a time.
I want God to give me valleys to walk. May the valleys be long so I can learn patience. May the sun be hot so it tests my faith. May God provide only for my needs and not my wants so I can learn to be more dependent on Him. I need God’s help to learn to walk by faith and not by sight.
May the mountain at the end of the valley be tall and the journey long. But with God’s help may I be allowed to get to the top and to enjoy the view on the other side. I want to make it to mountaintops so I can raise my arms into the air, yell out, and do a dance of celebration. I want moments where I feel so close to God that I can reach out and touch His face.
I want to live life on the front row. There I will get a full dose of whatever life deals, be it joy or sorrow. I want to be a participant, and not an observer. I want to get my hands dirty and may they both become sore. I refuse to be a spectator looking in from the back row, it is my desire to receive the full brunt of each experience.
I want to live each day with an attitude of gratitude. I want to be the most thankful person I know. I want to be grateful for every blessing bestowed upon me from God. I want to be grateful for every kind act and gesture by those who God has placed in my life each day.
When I wake up each day I don’t want to lay in bed wishing I had more time to sleep. I don’t want to lay in bed and worry about what may lie ahead. I want to recognize that the day ahead is the best day of my life as it is the only day I can live. I want to energetically jump out of bed with a positive attitude. For each day brings new opportunities. I want to attack each day with passion.
I want to bounce out of bed each morning excited about the challenges and blessings that await. I want to live each day with a vision. I want to chase at least one dream each day. I pray to God, “Let me make a difference today, one life at a time,” because it will soon be gone. I want to accomplish as much each day as I can. I want to give as much as I can each day. And at the end of the day I want to take as much from each day as I am able.
I have only one day I can live right now and that day is today. But the path I choose today will determine what path I will be on when I wake up tomorrow. I want to spend my life accomplishing things that are meaningful. I don’t want to be known merely as the man who had the cleanest garage on his block.
As I turn out the light at the end of the day and close my eyes, I must let go of the day I have spent. I must let go of it because tomorrow brings a new day and new challenges. At the end of the day, when my head touches my pillow, I want to peacefully be out like a light. It is not until that time I have one less day to live.
I recognize I cannot save the entire world regardless of my efforts. I am unable to make an impact on a man in Switzerland today. But I can make a difference to the lady behind me by holding the door open for her. I can make a difference to the man who wears a tie I like by merely telling him so. I do have the ability to influence and uplift the one next to me.
Today I am excited about what God is preparing me for. I am not sure what is ahead. It may be joy, frustration, success, failure, accomplishment, or tragedy. Regardless, I do know God is in control and whatever hand is dealt me, I will play it the best that I can. I also know confidently God will never give me any difficult circumstances He won’t first equip me with the tools to overcome.
With God all things are possible. As we are told this in the Bible in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Jerry Seinfield once said, “Life is truly a ride, we are all strapped in and no one can stop it. When the doctor slaps your behind he’s ripping your ticket and away you go. And as you make each passage from youth to adulthood to maturity, sometimes you put up your arms and scream. Sometimes you just hang onto the bar in front of you. But the ride is the thing. I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that your hair is messed up, you’re out of breath, and you didn’t throw up!”
In the life I live, I hope to keep from throwing up. But if throwing up is part of the price that is paid for taking the ride, so be it. I want to be breathless at times. I want to have my hair messed up. I want it messed up regularly. I want to be able to get off the ride shaking with excitement. As I look at the spectators of life off to the side who are afraid to take the ride, I want to stand tall. I want to know that deep inside me I can say that I have truly experienced life.
My challenge to you today is to experience life to the fullest. Don’t sleepwalk through the days that have been given to you. Fasten your seat belt and take off. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You get one chance. You have already spent your past. Make a difference today. It is the only day you can live. Those who are blessed with many years have the opportunity in the twilight of their years to sit in rocking chairs on their front porch and reflect. When that day comes for you, will you have experienced life to the fullest? Will you be spent?
I want God to mess up my hair regularly, for it is only then that I shall know I will have accomplished what He intended in the life He gave me.
Just a thought...
Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202-0850.
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