It’s been over 6 years now since I’ve had the most incredible and yet terrifying experience of my life. I was taking a shower early in the morning before sunrise and suddenly found myself in what seemed like another place and void of time. I saw my entire life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) flash before me in what seemed like seconds. I’ve read about folks with near death experiences stating the same sort of experience but this was different in that I knew I was very much alive. The knowledge that I had only one more day to live permeated me down to the core of my soul and marrow of bones. This understanding was real and many different emotions began to swirl and overlap as I processed this ‘reality’ that overtook me with no previous planning. Looking back, it seems that I went from fear to panic and then from anxiety to urgency in a speck of time as even a extra week would have provided me so much more time than 24 hours. It didn’t take but a blink of time for my priorities to surface in my mind and heart – how would I spend my last day? What or who would this priceless gift of time be spent on? How would I carve out the right amount of words, kisses and hugs to share? What would this allotted time look like – would I do something distractedly fun to ease the tragic news to my loved ones and family? Or, would I look at any amount of works or travel as wasted time? These thoughts were racing through my mind and then suddenly, I was in my car driving to work in my vehicle. As strange as it my come across, I could not remember getting out of the shower nor leaving the house. However, I did remember the dream, vision, or whatever it was as I peered down the highway to start another day. The highway in front of me took on a whole new meaning. Having “another day” took on a whole meaning as I basked in “time” as I would the sun on a beach after a week of rain or a snowy winter. I somehow knew and understood with heart beating relief that this would not be my last day. But this lapse in time and the experience of the 24 hours that I had to live seemed so real because the emotions were still strangely and powerfully felt within my innermost being.
It’s interesting as I began driving more cautiously. As a matter of fact, many things in the daily cycle of life became a bit more well thought out. All the love I’ve ever felt seems to have to waited for this narrowing funnel of time to be decounted more precisely and I had the awesome privilege to experience it. What’s even more amazing than this event in my life is how quickly experiences and life lessons can be forgot and discarded as we move through the sands of time. Many days go by that I don’t appreciate the time and the people around me at arms reach. Sadly, it takes this event in my life to redirect and re-anchor my priorities. Maybe, God chose me for this experience because He knows how selfish and self-consumed I can truly be? Thankfully, I have this strange and oftentimes rusted anchor that will save me in the storms of the human nature…Especially, my own.
This event has oftentimes shifted my thoughts toward those who are truly dying and have been given a length of time. Besides placing our breath and lives in the hands of God, the topic of our ‘grand exit’ is just too big to get my arms and brain around. Many proudly and arrogantly project their bravery and bravado at the face of death when it’s not knocking at their door. But this changes when it’s about to overtake you on the highway of life. The proud are humbled. The wealthy and the high and mighty are brought low. Those with overabundance experience relational bankruptcy. The arrogant must look into the mirror of their stupidity. The highly educated are dumbfounded. The atheist believes at last, but it’s too late.
Many often ponder to commit suicide. Maybe we should assume not to go into this temptation and option. Humanity has evolved our generation to be a self serving or self service world where you have to fill your own gas tanks, assess your own taxes, and even help yourself into self help – the one thing you don’t have to do for yourself is to end your own life. So why not luxuriate yourself in that old fashioned sense of service. Go on, do yourself a favor, you know you deserve it. Let something else finish you off!