Monday, December 15, 2008

living with your death date (part 1)

i'm a little morbid i suppose. for me, it seems that the only way to really live a focused life in the present is to come to grips with my future death. maybe that's true for you too.

an average child sees 8,000 murders on TV by the time they reach middle school. but the death of real people, and our own in particular, seems surreal. shouldn't technology and medical advances have figured death out by now? unfortunately, the internet pharmacy in our spam folder doesn't stock the meds needed to fix the whole dying problem.

i couldn't help but bike in the mountains here in pasadena. last sunday i had my first real mountain biking "incident." it wasn't that big of a front wheel got stuck and i flipped over the handlebars. i was thankful for my helmet because my head was the first to hit the dirt. i know there are many worse stories, but i realized that i could have just as easily flipped over the edge of a cliff.

moses at the end of his life reflected in a prayer to Yahweh, "teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom" (psalm 90:12.) and the existential teacher in ecclesiastes writes, "it is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. for you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time" (ecc. 7:1).

of course older people think this way, but can young people? i've often wondered how i could remind myself often about my own death. i finally came up with a simple way in the form of a bunch of little boxes. here it is as a pdf or as a publisher file. or on

Life Months Blank

there are eighty boxes on the page, each with twelve months. at the beginning of each month, i scratch off a month and reflect on my dreams, goals, etc. it was a crazy feeling scratching off more than one-third of my life when i first did this! i was thankful that i follow jesus the messiah when it comes to my life and death because my death is getting closer!

i know this is not the most graphically appealing way, so help me out if you're graphically inclined. :) but try it out and let me know what affect it has on your mindset after a few months.

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