Coming to Peace with Life and Death

A couple of weeks ago Donald Miller came to a church nearby. He is one of our favorite authors and if you have ever asked us to recommend a good book to read we have probably suggested “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. The premise of this book is how to live a good story with your life and make memorable scenes. It has really changed the way Nathan and I view life and is a big part in why we even write this blog which you can read about in our about page. 

Don talked about so many great things when we went to his talk and at first I couldn’t even figure out where to begin in this post or what to focus on. While contemplating it this week I got a phone call from my mom telling me that my grandma has congestive heart failure and Kidney failure and has been told she only has a week to live. Obviously that has been occupying my mind a lot and I am currently on a plane headed to Pa to spend my last days with her. So, in all of that, this is the stuff from his talk (and his book) that is directly speaking to my heart right now.

In his book he mentions a friend who writes everything down that he has ever done. When Don reflects on his own life he can’t remember a lot of it. Most of our lives are made up of a couple memorable moments that we really remember and are really proud of. If someone made a movie of us it would most likely be very short and pretty boring. This is not to say that every day has to be some grand epic adventure. It is intended to remind us to live every day with intention. Days are short and it’s easy to look back at the end of a day and realize that you got caught up in the mundane routine of work, TV, cell phones, etc. 

As I think about what must be going on through my grandma’s mind as she comes to peace with how she spent her days on earth and how she invested in people, it causes me to do the same in my own life. My grandma had a really tough life growing up. She endured more in her young age than I can comprehend. She could of easily become bitter or angry but instead she chose to live a better story with her life. It’s a choice we all have. She chose a story of love, sacrifice, and so much laughter and happiness. I know my grandma is pleased and has nothing left that needs to be said to anyone and no more memorable scenes that she wishes she would have done while she had the chance. 

What story are you choosing to live with your life? Are you making it a good story that gets told for generations? Are you choosing to make memorable scenes in your life? This week I encourage you and remind myself to live with intention. To be the hero in your story. To be someone who people are routing for and want to succeed. To be someone who is making a difference even in small ways. To step out of fear and to take risks for the sake of something better or valuable to you or others. To seek adventure and stories worth talking about.

I don’t wonder anymore what I’ll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city........I’ll tell these things to God, and he’ll laugh, I think and he’ll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorite. We’ll sit and remember my story together, and then he’ll stand and put his arms around me and say, “well done,” and that he liked my story. And my soul won’t be thirsty anymore. Finally he’ll turn and we’ll walk toward the city, a city he will have spoken into existence a city built in a place where once there’d been nothing.
— Donald Miller