Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.
"Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do.
"Everything God has done will last forever; nothing he does can ever be changed. God has done all this, so that we will worship him."
What if you only had one year to live? What would you do differently from what you are currently doing? I have thought a lot about this question recently as I have sat beside friends who were facing their last months, last weeks and last days of life. It’s a question that keeps me awake at nights, that haunts my daytime thoughts, and that ultimately I am having a hard time answering.
I don’t know about you, but I like to think that I am reasonably happy in life. I have a great family, a loving husband and well-adjusted and loving children and a comfortable existence. I love my job, my family (yes, all of them!), my co-workers and my friends. I am happy with my profession, my hobbies and most of my life decisions. And while life has not always been without trauma or crisis, with God’s help, I have adjusted, picked up the pieces and moved on.
So what would I change?
What would I do differently? I don’t really have an answer. I assume that most people can’t really answer that question until a crisis stares them squarely in the eyes and pierces their souls.
The writer of Ecclesiastes says it best this way: "I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. Everything God has done will last forever; nothing he does can ever be changed. God has done all this, so that we will worship him."
So if I had to change one thing about my life, if I had only one year left to live, I would live each day to the fullest, share love and life with those around me, tell those dear to me how much I love them, and make every act of eating, drinking, dancing, sleeping and living an act of worship to God. Life is God’s gift to each of us, and we are only promised today, not tomorrow, not a year.
What would you change if you had only one day left to live? Why not make today and every day an act of worship to God?
The Rev. Jan McCoy is the Associate Pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.covingtonfirst.org.