I recently underwent surgery and for the two nights I stayed at the hospital, I shared a room with a lady who had come in for a mastectomy. She was battling breast cancer, having undergone a lot of chemotherapy before undergoing the surgery. As I left the hospital upon my discharge, it gave me food for thought. I asked myself a question I will put to us all:

If you were diagnosed with cancer, what would you do?

The natural reaction, I think, is not a very positive one.

Most of us would ask God a lot of questions; accuse Him of unfaithfulness, injustice, and a host of other accusations; walk away from our relationship with Him. Some of us would get into self-pity, a victim mindset and, eventually, depression. None of these reactions, by the way, would solve the problem.

We can only imagine what our reaction would be but I think I would cry. From my experience with grief, the crying helps even though it doesn’t change anything. It releases pent up emotions that need to come out. So yes, I would cry as often as I need to. But despite the occasional tears when I feel overcome emotionally, I hope that I would make the quality decision to make each moment of the rest of my life count.

1. My relationship with God

I have long since come to the conclusion that my relationship with God is the most valuable treasure I possess and that it doesn’t end on this side of eternity but continues for ever and ever and ever….

He created me for relationship with Him and my greatest investment must be into this miraculous relationship between me and my Creator – the Almighty God of the entire universe. Wow!

I would spend more time reading His word to learn more about Him; talking to Him and listening to Him speak back to me. These are the things that would enable our relationship grow deeper still.

2. My relationship with Others

If the greatest commandment is to love God and to love my neighbours, then these relationships will also become an area of focus. The same principles of investing into a relationship with God would be used to build my relationship with others. I would want everybody to feel God’s love when they relate with me – to be His arms holding them to comfort them; His hands reaching out to help when they’re in need; His voice speaking truth to them in love.

I would seek to mend broken relationships, forgive all offenses and apologize where I have been the offender. Basically, to keep my heart free of offense and unforgiveness towards anybody.

3. My purpose on Earth

I imagine that I would break free of the things that have kept me from doing all I am meant to do – lack of confidence, fear (of the unknown, of failure, of success…..whatever), procrastination, laziness, distraction with other things – and I would set my face like flint to tick all the boxes on my To-Do list (based on my assignment from God).

It is foolish to spend precious time on empty, vain pursuits that might have some temporary rewards here on Earth when we can play our part in bringing to pass God’s will for the Earth and for man which will yield rewards that are eternal. For each of us, our part is different and as we relate more and more closely with our Lord with hearts of true surrender, He orders our steps and shows us what He would have us do with our time here on Earth. After all, He made us for a reason and for such a time as this.

So I ask myself another question:

Since you don’t know when Jesus will return or when you will die, should you not be doing these things now anyway?

The answer is that I should be doing these things now. So should you. We must live each day like it’s our last day because who knows, it just might be.

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16, AMPC)