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Are You Afraid of Dying or Afraid of Living?

Are you afraid of dying or afraid of living?

During one of my visits with family members at the bedside of their dying loved one, one of the family members asked me if I was afraid of dying.

This question initiated a conversation not so much about being afraid of dying, especially if one knows where they would spend eternity, but about the way one would die. All agreed dying without long months and years of suffering would be the best case scenario, if there is such a thing.

Reflecting on that conversation, I recalled other conversations I had with family members about how their loved one lived their lives to the fullest, traveling, accomplishing what they set out to do, and most importantly, serving others.

I've attended and presided at many funeral services and memorial services over the past 11 years. I've found that those in attendance have two overall reactions aside from grief they may be experiencing.

First, a sense of mortality sinks in, and thoughts about their plans and their expectations for where they will spend eternity emerge.

Second, they feel they should renew and strengthen family ties, and explore ways to live life to the fullest. In the words of a song from Bye Bye Birdie, "I've got a lot of liv'n to do!"

Living Life to Its Fullest

Living life to its fullest is a commendable goal. But just how can you begin doing it. Here are some suggestions.

  • Free yourself from the past and worrying about the future. Live each moment as if it were your last.

  • Be willing to have an open mind and think outside your box. Don't be afraid to take risks.

  • Ignore the naysayers who want you to abandon your dreams, especially your internal naysayer.

  • Make serving others a high priority. You will expand your heart and your horizons.

  • Know who you are and what you stand for. Be willing to stand on your values and beliefs.

  • Tell and show those you care about how much you care about them and love them.

Finally, make a key part of your living life to its fullest, dedicating your life to obeying and serving the who gave you that life and its sacred purpose, our Lord and God.

In God's Words

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11)

"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

In the Words of Others

“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” Roy Bennett

“The true joy in life is to be a force of Fortune instead of a feverish, selfish little child of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” George Bernard Shaw

In Your Words

Do you feel you are living your life to its fullest? If yes, describe how. If no, consider ways you can begin.

Consider the suggestions above. Which suggestions can you apply to you life today to help you live your life to the fullest.

Meditate on the scriptures and how they apply to living your life to its fullest in response to the call and purpose for which God created you.


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