For a while, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by The Blue Oyster Cult was my ringtone. I find Demetri Martin’s near-death experience funny.
I have never had a near-death experience. I doubt I’ve even come close to one. Recently, some interesting stories of people facing death have come to my attention.
The first is the story of Sabrina Parker. At only 15, Sabrina became afflicted with ALS, AKA: Lou Gherig’s disease. For such a young person to have ALS is very rare. The ALS progressed rapidly, and soon Sabrina only had a few months left to live. She decided that before she died, she wanted to exchange “friendship vows” with her boyfriend in an official ceremony- the closest she would ever get to being married. They exchanged vows as she wanted, and just a few weeks later Sabrina died in her sleep.
Next is a story that I have been becoming more familiar with throughout the past few months. Since Easter Sunday of this year, I have attended services at the Denton campus of DFW’s Village Church. This past Sunday the lead pastor, Matt Chandler, gave the sermon. On Thanksgiving day 2009, Matt Chandler suffered a seizure, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in his frontal lobe, and subsequently had to undergo a major brain surgery. Chandler has had to endure chemotherapy treatments since his diagnosis and will have to continue the chemotherapy for a while still; however he has had no more seizures or any other symptoms of the cancer since his initial seizure in 2009.
In his sermon last Sunday, Chandler talked about how he did not fully understand the true meaning of Christmas until Christmas of last year. When he was looking into the face of death, he realized how desperately he needed a savior.
It was a great sermon, you should listen to it here (sermon from 12/19).
^(Matt Chandler’s first video update from ~1 year ago)
These stories of death and near-death have incited many thoughts within me about life.
With no life-threatening diseases bearing on me, I have the same attitude about my goals, dreams, and aspirations that many others in my situation have: that I have plenty of time to achieve them. I have said before that I am a better goal-maker than a goal-achiever, and I am. I put a lot of thought into what I want to do, but when it comes to actually getting those things done I procrastinate and most of the time don’t achieve them at all. I assume that I still have time to do them – a whole lifetime, e.g. 50+ years. But realistically speaking, how can I be so sure that I will live that long? I cannot.
Instead of putting things off, I want to focus on the here and now. When I die, whenever that day may be, I want to have as few regrets as possible. I want to know that I made the most of the time that I was given.
Like Sabrina, I hope that I can pursue love and friendship whole-heartedly. I don’t mean going off and getting married tomorrow, of course…I just mean letting people that I care for in my life know how much I care for them.
Like Matt Chandler, I want to know Christ better. To know God and to make God known. To grow closer to Him.
As far as I know, I have no near-death experiences coming any time soon. I hope that I don’t. But I don’t want to save important things like loving Christ, loving others, and realizing my dreams for when I am given a death sentence.
What are your opinions on near-death experiences? What do you think about these stories? What do you think about making the most of life?
Thanks for reading 🙂 As always, Peace and Love,