On the day I die

March 10, 2016

day-I-dieI don’t read a lot of blogs by men, but this one, well, I read regularly.  Stuff That Needs to be Said by John Pavlovitz, a minister and pastor with a profound message. His Christianity has changed and evolved –something he’s honest about on his blog. I know posturing pastors who think they are contemporary and pastors who would sooner be stretched on a rack than be called contemporary. But this one? He’s contemporary. No posturing. No image management. No judgment.

So when I read his post On the Day I Die, I knew I had to ask him if I could re-post it.  He was kind enough to agree.  Then again, he’s a kind guy.  This is a message I believe everyone should hear, so I hope you’ll share it far and wide.

Oh, and subscribe to John’s blog, like I do, so you don’t miss any of his beautiful musings.

On the Day I Die
by John Pavlovitz

On the die I day a lot will happen.
A lot will change.

The world will be busy.
On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.

All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.
The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.
The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.
Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.
The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.
All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.
The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.

These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.
Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.
On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.

They will feel a void.
They will feel cheated.
They will not feel ready.
They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.

And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.
I know this from those I love and grieve over.

And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.
I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.

Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.
They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.
Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.

It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.
Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you believe matters, because on the day you die, much of it simply won’t.

Yes, you and I will die one day.
But before that day comes: let us live.

I hope you’ll use one of the share buttons … and that you will comment. I know John will enjoy reading your comments here.  Thank you.

55 comments on “On the day I die
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    Thank you, John. You wrote write about an important part of life in this blog: being mindful we are finite beings. I ,too, believe we are here to love and be loved, to enjoy all of God’s many gifts as often as we can. Your prose is a lovely reminder of this. Being human, I for one, cannot have enough reminders to put the small things down and back away from the daily minutiae.

  2. Bellybytes says:

    Good reminder that death is a certainty and we should live NOW

  3. Anna Palmer says:

    Love love love love. Lets live every day as if we were dead.

  4. I think I will read this every morning. I can’t decide which is more important the first half or the last. I love it so much.Of course, I’m sharing. I hope it goes viral. Finer words were never spoken.

  5. Beautifully said, Carol. Thank you for sharing this lovely mans’ wisdom. He speaks the truth….

  6. Terri Newmywr says:

    Beautiful. It is so good to be reminded of the really important things – the people – in our lives.

  7. Such a simple message, and so powerful. Thank you for sharing this, Carol.

  8. Michelle says:

    How lovely. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. Jacqui Odell says:

    This is a great reminder to be thankful for the important things.

  10. Alana says:

    So beautiful. I shared this also.

  11. Cheri O'Neil says:

    Oh, my. I can’t even see what I’m writing through my tears. How beautiful and touching.

  12. andrea says:

    so important we enjoy the time we have while we have it….

  13. This is a great reminder to appreciate the time we have and not sweat the small stuff.

  14. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s good to have pastors like that. His message was very clear and on point. It’s a beautiful reminder about life and how we should spend it. I hope people see life that way, so we can all live it to the fullest.

  15. Mary says:

    What a beautiful message, very powerful!

  16. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this. This I must remember: “All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.”

  17. Death comes for us all. Writing about it seems too doom and gloomy.

  18. Debbie W. says:

    Beautifully said and true. Others are what is important and our Lord.

  19. What a beautiful post. And an important reminder to LIVE.

  20. Liz Mays says:

    It gives a new perspective to cherishing the time we have left. I always think about it from my loss point of view, not as those who’ve lost me. This was thought provoking.

  21. those last couple of lines “Yes, you and I will die one day. But before that day comes: let us live.” sum up everything I’m coming to believe about making the most of this life we’ve been given.

  22. Angie Scheie says:

    This is wonderful and although I don’t know John’s theological views his words here ring absolutely true. I will share this and try to keep it in mind in my daily life as well!

  23. GiGi Eats says:

    I LIVE IN THE MOMENT AND LOVE EVERY SINGLE SECOND!! Even if I am having a bad day, really, it’s NOT BAD because I woke up that morning! That’s quite a blessing!

  24. Carol Graham says:

    Such simple and powerful words. Thank you for sharing John’s thoughts. I shared it on many networks.

  25. Bree Hogan says:

    This is certainly a reality check – and a great one at that. Reminds us of the things that are important and the things that really aren’t. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Lawrence Hamilton says:

    He’s right. It’s going to happen to all of us. On point and certainly inspiring. Right now as I type, I’m looking to make a few changes in my own life. And there are a few things I would like to do and have in order when that day comes. Well done, Minister!

  27. Carolann says:

    What powerful words. They are truly a reality check. Stressing over the little stuff is such a waste of time. Thanks for sharing his post Carol. I made sure to share.

  28. This made me tear up. Definitely a good message to keep in mind.

  29. Diane says:

    Gentle. Tender. Touching. And sooo true! We must spend our given time with those people who matter. Thank you for sharing this, Carol! I’ll remember this message and this man!

  30. Mer Loane says:

    So gently and kindly expressed………… thank you… Why do we humans at least so many of us humans, have an exquisitely painful resistance to practicing daily love and care and remembrance of what really matters, why do we confuse ourselves so completely on what is important, until the very airily fleeting moment of it’s leaving, and then we would sell our souls twice to have moments back to express everything again.

  31. Tara says:

    I love the unexpected ending, “Let us live.” We focus too much on the fear of dying and not enough on the privilege and responsibility of living.

  32. Kaley says:

    Very beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  33. Beautiful and really makes you think about the world and life.

  34. What a great message! I’ve bookmarked because I want to come back to it! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Paola says:

    This is pretty cool, It great to know other fellow bloggers out there!

  36. Melissa Lee says:

    Beautiful piece. It reminds me of things that often cross my mind yet which I often disregard – the importance of living in the now.

  37. Lezley says:

    This was such a beautiful post, and such a good reminder to live life to the fullest.

  38. Thanks for wonderful reminder and death is universal truth!! Great Message!!

  39. Helen Fern says:

    wow – this is really powerful. It puts what’s important into perspective. Thanks for sharing.
    (Found you on the blogger’s pit stop)

  40. Lisa Rios says:

    Such a wonderful post to remind all of us that, death is awaiting every one of us at the end of the day. Rather than running behind everything it is good to stay happy with what we were given by the God & move ahead.

  41. This is so well said. We all have a finite amount of time in the life and it can be so easy to be distracted from what is truly important. Thank you for sharing this vivid reminder. 🙂 I’ll be checking out his blog for sure. Thank you for the introduction too.

  42. peggy says:

    So well put. An awesome reminder and wake up call. LIVE your life. Tell your LOVE ONES everyday that you LOVE them. Then ACT like you love them by participating in their lives.

  43. mya.k says:

    We should live in the present and not dwell on the past. Live life as long as you have it.

  44. Aziel Morte says:

    What a great post and a good reminder we are all getting into death so live and laugh while we are living

  45. Susan Cooper says:

    This was very touching. It really made me sit back and take a close look at my life and the things that are truly important. Thanks for sharing with us.

  46. janice Wald says:

    Hi Carol,
    I never heard of him. Thank you for the recommendation.
    Thank you for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  47. Kathleen says:

    Carol, I am sure you will be pleased to know that this post will be featured on Friday in the Blogger’s Pit Stop. Thanks for a good post

  48. Let us live. what a super important reminder for life. Live it.

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