In life it seems we’ve two choices — live life knowing we will eventually run out of time or to simply run out the clock.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to live in the former category.
We can look around at high-profile people and see the very same. There is no doubt Apple founder Steve Jobs ran out of time to see all of his visions become reality. The same could also be said for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Teresa.
To them, each day was a gift for them to use to change or improve the lives of those around them. And if given one extra day there is no doubt they would have used it in very much the same way as those before.
Even in our own lives, we all know those who might fit the very same description. My mind quickly goes to our family preacher in my hometown who was taken by cancer in midlife, leaving behind a wife and children.
To this day, he remains one of the most powerful and influential people in my life. If ever there was a man who walked the walk, it was this man. I even remember him running races to raise money for cancer research well after he could see his personal finish line on the horizon.
Based on an average lifespan of 75 years, we all can generally count on something north of 27,000 sunrises to make a difference in the world and those around us. There are no coupons, no overtime sessions, and no amount of money will reasonably extend your life significantly beyond this window.
In the literal end, the currency of life is defined by the time we have and how we choose to use it.
Recently, I heard a saying that “you die twice in life — once when your heart stops and then again the last time someone says your name.”
I thought about these words and what they really meant. This is not about one playing in a rock and roll band or earning an Academy Award for a role in a movie. Rather these words reflect on who you are and the positive impact you choose to make on the world around you.
Are you there for others? Do you make an effort at every opportunity to help others in need? Are you true to your dreams, potential and aspirations?
Or, as in the case of others, are you content to simply sit on the sidelines as the minutes meaninglessly tick by — thus running out the clock?
There is no age limit on living life with a purpose — whether you are 10 or 70 — the days all count the same in the end.
I am far from perfect and have undoubtedly gone through stretches of life not fully appreciating the true value of each day — and for that, I am sure I am not alone. But fortunately, for me, I now understand each day is an active choice for me to make.
And in the end, if each of us makes enough decisions along the way to help make the world a better place, then I’m sure we will have made the differences God placed us here to accomplish in the first place.