Walking the block from the bus stop to my front door seemed like miles and miles as I saw both my parents cars in the driveway.
They had planned for weeks to be out of town that day…I knew that it had to be something big for them to be home.
They met me at the door with speechless lips and swollen eyes.
Little did I know, what I was about to hear would rock my life.
“Mikey lost control on his drive home last night… He didn’t make it.”
The room spun as I ran to my room.
It felt as though I was silent for days. My body was hot and cold, numb and achy all at once. Not even a tear streamed down my face. I was emptier than I had ever been.
The counselor at school would daily call me into her office to see if I was okay.
I eventually said yes just so she’d stop asking.
My cousin was my role model. He was twenty one years old and the hardest worker I’ve ever known. He was extremely protective of us girls and showed us what it was like to go out of the way to love on people. The bravery I saw in him gave me reason to be brave.
He saw those that seemed unseen.
He crammed so much life into 21 short years.
He was the rock of his family. He was strong in both body and spirit and had so much life ahead of him.
It messed with me deep within. Why the hell would this happen to him of all people. Someone with such a calling on his life. With such passion for people and for Christ.
I still cringe at the thought of that horse running out in the road, causing him to lose control.
From that day on, I saw life through different lenses.
I decided at age thirteen that I would live life to the fullest.
Sometimes I forget it though, that life is so short.
I often get so caught up in the routine that I forget what a beautiful gift this life is.
In the past week I have been reminded how fragile it really is.
Last Monday, innocent people gathered to cheer on the race in Boston and suddenly hundreds were injured. Lives were lost.
A few days later in West, Texas, a fertilizer plant exploded, killing innocent people and flattening homes.
As I sat wide eyed reading the news… I was overcome with the same feeling I felt when I heard about Mikey.
If I truly grasped that tomorrow isn’t promised… what would I do differently?
Would I sit around waiting for the rest of my life to begin?
Would I glance over a chapter of the Bible every morning just to check it off my list?
Would I keep letting those close to me make stupid decisions?
Would I keep telling myself that my atheist brother will eventually come around?
Would I keep being insecure of what people thought about me?
Would I rush past the homeless man or push away the thought of the millions of vulnerable orphans around the world?
Would I forget to call my siblings to tell them how much I love them?
Would I keep hiding those dark places in my heart, putting off repentance?
I know I would live differently.
So, from today on, I will live as if it’s my last.
What is it that’s holding you back?
It doesn’t have to be a dramatic decision like quitting your nine to five and packing up your family to move to Africa… although that may be it.
Stick your head out the window and sing worship at the top of your lungs.
Let explosive laughter happen.
Take time to look around at the freaking gorgeous planet we live on.
Call that person you’ve been avoiding.
Get on your face before the Lord just to praise Him for how good He is.
Write your grandma a letter.
Talk about the grace of God any chance you get.
Get over the fear of being verbal about Christ…. we don’t have time for that.
Go on that random road trip.
Call your college roommate.
Look deep into the eyes of the people that you love, and tell them.
Freakin live as if it’s your last.