largeCarpe Diem: Sieze the day! We’ve all heard it, said it, and read it. It’s known as living in the moment, worrying only about the day, etc. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes it as “the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future.” Even the Bible instructs us to “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34, NIV).

However, if you read the rest of the Bible you will see this is not a license to do whatever, whenever. We can’t eat whatever we want without gaining weight or getting sick. We can’t take whatever we want and never pay. We can’t treat people badly and expect them to overlook it. Instead, I like to think of practicing what I call “conservative carpe diem.” Make every day count for something good in case it is your last.

If you’re sitting there thinking you have all the time in the world to have a good relationship with God and get to know God, you don’t. —Rachel Wallace

Just this past week I have read about a lot of death and near-death experiences from newborns to the elderly. While we will never know when our time is up or why God calls each of us when He does, we can choose to make our lives matter. It’s easy to get lazy with day-to-day activities, and I am certainly to blame of this. I hope to get better about always telling others I love and appreciate them and apologizing when I do something wrong.

At the risk of sounding a little too morbid, I admit that I sometimes think, “What would people say at my funeral if I died today?” (Or what would my obituary read?) Not that I want to die, but how would I want to be remembered? As a child I thought all funerals were filled with nice sentiments, and they are. But as an adult I realized they are sometimes only directed as sympathy toward the family, rather than praise for the deceased. Sometimes people tell stories about the deceased to try and lighten the mood, but without any substance or attesting to their good character. I hope this will not be the case for me.

Last week I was really moved by an article featured in the Fayette County newspaper, The Times Record. Many people in West Alabama have heard about Rachel Wallace, a teenager from Fayette, who passed away from cancer recently. I did not know her personally, but was in awe of the speech she gave in Fall 2014 at Southside Baptist Church, which the paper featured. This part especially stuck with me:

“Cancer is a part of my life whether I like it or not. If I could go back and change anything I would not because it has made me the person I am today and I have grown closer to God and so many people. In closing, my relationship with God is the most important thing to me. He loves you and so do I. If you’re sitting there thinking you have all the time in the world to have a good relationship with God and get to know God, you don’t. I’m sorry but you don’t. It breaks my heart that it took something like this for me to realize what life means and how fragile life can be.”

You can also watch her testimony on Youtube. I encourage everyone to view it. She is proof that God can use tragedy to touch others and that we really don’t have as much time as we may think. I pray to God that I would have the same courage and strength to be a witness of His love if I ever face such personal difficulties.

*This blog is dedicated to the memory of one of my dear readers, whom I have known my entire life, Barbara Reynolds Naramore, a godly wife, mother and grandmother. You will be missed!

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