This I Believe

Chelsey - Renville, Minnesota
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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I Believe

Live like you were dying. This is a pretty common phrase. Pastors have preached on it, teachers have lectured on it, and Tim McGraw even sang about it. This popular quote has become a life motto for me; it is something I truly believe in.

Although it is something I have always believed in, this quote became even more relevant in my life in the past five years. During the past five years, death has become far to familiar to me. When I was in eighth grade I lost my grandpa to a freak accident. Not even a year later, tragedy struck again when my aunt passed away. I found hope in the fact that they were made completely whole in heaven, never having to suffer from earthly pain or diseases again. My aunt would never have to sit in a wheelchair or undergo chemotherapy again. The battle of Alzheimer’s would never occupy my grandpa’s mind again.

You think after two loses, death would leave me alone. But it followed me into high school. When I was a junior in high school, a life-long friend was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and died two months later. Senior year came and along with it came another death. This time it came in the form of car accident. A friend of mine lost her life one month after her sixteenth birthday. Senior year finished and the summer passed. I hoped that when I left for college a door would be shut on death. I made it nearly the whole year, when I received a call during Spring Break. It was another car accident, this time claiming the lives of two senior boys from my high school.

The deaths of these friends caused me to examine my own life. It made me look at how I was spending my time. Was I living my life the way I wanted to? This is where the belief of “live like you were dying” became a mantra in my life.

These days I spend my time living life to the fullest. I smile more often and laugh readily. I don’t want to spend sixty seconds being upset, because it is a minute I will never get back. I try not to go to sleep angry, but to forgive before the day is done. Words of love were spoken more often and shown to more people. This phrase even comes into play in my faith. I want to live my life so no one can ever think I am anything but a Christian. I aim for Christ’s love to shine through me in way that people can’t help but notice.

The deaths of these friends and family members have caused me to act on my beliefs. I believe that you should “live like you were dying.” While I may not ride bulls or go mountain climbing like Tim McGraw sings1, I will live my life with no regrets. Each day will be lived to the fullest, so that if I die tomorrow, I will know that I made the most of the life God had given me. This is my goal, my mantra, my life motto: to “live like I was dying.”