This one seems kind of dark, but I'll give it a try...
Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live
We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
(Author: Gwen Bell)
I've had many fears in life, but I not so sure I'm afraid of death; I've preached too many Easter Sunday sermons to know that this is not the end.
And yet, as I approach this end, as I consider the end of this life there is a powerful mixture of celebration and sorrow.
Sorrow for all the things left undone, unsaid, unexpressed. Sorrow for the risks not taken, the joy not shared. Sorrow for all those times I caved into fear - the fear of what others might think or might say; the fear that lurks inside the deepest, darkest recesses of one's own soul which silently whispers, "Not good enough", "Not worthy", and "Not possible." As I enter into the light of eternity may this darkness be forever cast away.
But, as I consider these last few moments, I choose not to dwell in the darkness, instead I celebrate the precious gift of life that I have been given. I give thanks for the love of Amy, Allison and Ben - for the joy and for the laughter, for the trips we've taken and for the simple meals we've shared around the dinner table. I give thanks for my parents and brothers, for helping to shape me and support me over all these years, for the countless blessings revealed in ordinary moments. I give thanks for all the companions on this journey, for those who I've walked and wrestled with; for those whom I've kept in close contact with and those whom I've lost contact but not forgotten. To all these, so often I've failed to thank, failed to adequately express myself for all that you've done and all that you mean to me; I'm sorry and I hope you can offer your forgiveness.
At last my 15 minutes are nearly up (I type really slowly)... I wish I had some great bit of wisdom. Just enjoy life, soak up every minute that you can - take long bike rides though the Iowa countryside, swim in the cold saltwater of the oceans, and stare up on a warm summer's night and count the stars. Take risks. Live without fear. Keep it simple - in the words of Micah, "Seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God."
See you soon.