If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do today?
Usually when people ask this question, they’re trying to get us to think about our lives differently, to rearrange our priorities properly. It’s a rhetorical device used to make the point that a lot of what we spend our time doing isn’t really all that important.
So what would I do, if today was the end of all things? Well, I’d do a lot of things. I’d keep the kids home from school. Leave the computer off (because obviously the novel’s not gonna get finished anyway). Go out in the middle of nowhere and sit for a couple of hours. Take the whole family out for a 5-star dinner and eat whatever I want, as much as I want.
I can come up with quite a few ways to spend my last day on Earth. You know what all of them have in common? They’re all things you can’t do day after day. What I just described is not sustainable. You have to live real life.
The fact is, we’re never going to know when the end of all things is approaching. People may try to nail down an exact date, like Harold Camping, or they may say, “We may not know exactly when, but everything predicted in the Bible is coming true: wars, natural disasters…so I know it’s coming soon!” The trouble is, wars and natural disasters have always been with us and will always be with us, whether we like it or not. I don’t believe we’re in the end times any more now than they were in 1201 A.D., when an earthquake killed over a million people in Egypt and Syria.
I know none of you need convincing on this topic. I’m only bringing it up to point out that we can’t live “like it’s the last day on Earth”—unless we rethink what that means. We can’t spend our savings, ignore our health in the interest of enjoying the bounty of the world. We can’t stop working and paying the bills in the interest of spending quality time with our families. All we can do is live our everyday lives in the best way we know how: juggling responsibility and relaxation, family and work, and striving to discern the path of righteousness through petty squabbles and earth-shattering decisions. And if we’re doing that, then why worry about when the end is coming? We’re already doing everything we can to be ready.