What if today was your last day?

What if today was your last day?

You could have years ahead – or it could all be over tomorrow

Back in the early eighties when I had much more hair, and long before I had become a commentator on business, property and politics, I harboured dreams of becoming a rockstar. Yes, I get that it’s hard to picture this now but, back in the day I had a pretty decent singing voice – although that’s long gone due to lack of regular use and the ravages of time.

My particular influences, in those days, were Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses, REM and Spandau Ballet. Other bands have come and gone in the years since which would also have been influences if they’d been around at the time. 3 Doors Down, Evanescence, Creed, DC Talk and Nickelback all come to mind. They were all bands that had something meaningful to say in their songs – and it’s a song from the last of these – Canadian band Nickelback – which inspired this article.

You don’t hear much about Nickelback now, but they’ve sold over 50 million albums worldwide and, back when they were at the top of their game they seemed to attract as many haters as they did fans. If you do a web search there are all sorts of reasons offered as to why this should be – but, for me, the answer is obvious. It’s their songs – or more precisely, the lyrics of their songs.

Sure, a lot of their music is just standard recording industry fare – but a handful of them promote themes that many people would find ‘uncomfortable’ and, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learnt that – rather than face a hard truth about themselves – many people will, instead, attack the source of the message.

If you’re not familiar with the music of Nickelback or didn’t know this about their songs – go and have a listen to ballads like the uplifting ‘Lullaby’, the incredibly poignant ‘If Everyone Cared’ or the deeply spiritual and moving ‘Savin Me’. There’s a powerful and confronting message of hope and deliverance in these songs which, despite Nickelback repeatedly insisting that they’re not a ‘faith based’ band, carry a sense of something much deeper than you might expect.

This is particularly true of the song ‘If today was your last day’ which poses a question that no one is ever really ready to answer. We all think that, when the time comes, we’ll have an opportunity to prepare and ‘settle our affairs’ but, for many of us, that’s not how it will happen, and the song encourages us to think about whether we’d be ‘ready’ if that day was today.

Consider some of these lyrics:

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said, “Each day’s a gift and not a given right”
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
So live it like you’re never livin’ twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life
And would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?

So do whatever it takes
‘Cause you can’t rewind
A moment in this life
Let nothin’ stand in your way
‘Cause the hands of time
Are never on your side

(For the complete lyrics click here)

Understandably, the main focus of the lyrics is around fixing personal relationships rather than ‘legacy’. It speaks of contacting the people who are, or have been, important; forgiving enemies; and treating each day as a gift.

Almost none of us know when that day will be. You could have years ahead – or it could all be over tomorrow.

So, are you ready? Here are six things that you might want to consider:

  1. Have you made provision for those who are most important to you? If you have assets does that include having a clear will which is in the hands of someone you trust to carry out your wishes?
  2. Have you told those who are most important to you how much you love them, recently?
  3. Have you made peace with your enemies, forgiven them, and put momentary disputes behind you?
  4. Have you written or recorded a message to be shared with those you leave behind, after you’ve gone?
  5. Have you completed your passion project? The thing which defines your purpose? (this will probably take longer than a day but if you don’t start it won’t get done).
  6. And, most importantly, do you know where you stand with your Creator? Given that you’ll soon be standing in front of Him and giving an account of your life and the decisions that you’ve made are you confident in your relationship with Him? He has provided you with a very simple way to make sure that you’re right with Him, so it would be beyond tragic not to take advantage of that gift.

As the song says – “Each day’s a gift and not a given right”.

Make the most of your gift.

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