One Month To Live Challenge

One month to live.  What would you do?  How would you feel?  That is what we have been doing in church for the past five weeks and during our small group bible study.  I have to admit, this was extremely difficult for me to think about.  Who wants to think about death?  That was my first response.  But the deeper we got into the study, the more I realized, this isn’t about death.  It’s about living!

This study has really changed my way of thinking about life.  I have learned that it’s not what we have on this earth that truly matters.  All of the treasures that we have here mean nothing.  It’s the treasures we are storing up in heaven that make all the difference.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Matthew 6:19-21

So what does it mean to store up treasures in heaven?  Sure, we know how to store our treasures here on earth.  You make money to buy things.  We buy houses, cars,  clothes,  jewelry, electronics.  It’s all about the next best thing.  There is nothing wrong with owning things.  Don’t get me wrong.  But friends, that’s not what this life is all about.  It’s not about what you own or where you live.  It’s about who’s lives you touch.  It’s about how you live.  That is how we store up our treasures in heaven.  It’s about making an impact in your one and only life!  Take the time to ask someone today how they are doing, and really listen for their answer.  Take the time to smile at a stranger.  Take time to forgive someone.  Live your life like you only have one month to live, and you will be amazed how your priorities change.  It makes you realize it’s not about all the “stuff” we worry about here on earth.  There is a far greater reward waiting for us in heaven.

Our sermon on Sunday really got me thinking.  Scott was preaching on “Leaving Boldy.”   He asked us what impact we have made in our lives?  Who have we touched?  What have we done to make a lasting impression?  He told us about when he does a funeral service and how he sits with the family to talk about the person who passed.  He wants to get a feel for who that person was.  He asked us, “What will we say about you when we gather in your living room?”  WOW!  Hard to think about, huh?  But, what would they say?  It’s hard to think about, I know.  But it really makes you realize what things in life are important to  you.  I don’t know what my friends and family will say.  However, I know that how I live my life needs to make an impact on those around me.  So what would they say about your life?  Are you living your one and only life to make the biggest impact on others that you can?  Are you storing up your treasures in heaven instead of here on earth?

Scott also talked about the story of Martha and Mary.  Here is the excerpt from Luke 10:38-42.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

In this story, Martha is busy.  she is preparing her house for company. She is running around cleaning and getting madder by the minute that Mary is not helping.  She finally stops and lets Jesus know that she is not happy and wants some help.  Jesus’ reply is like a slap in the face to Martha.  He lets her know that Mary is doing what is better.  She is taking the time to sit and listen and not worrying about the house.  Ouch! 

Ricky elbowed me in the side when Scott asked who was a Martha!  I know that I am guilty of being a Martha most days.  I worry about running here and there.  Getting the house clean.  Getting Lily to her activities.  Making dinner.  Getting paperwork done.  Blogging.  All of the things that should take a backseat to the most important thing.  Listening to God.  Getting in the word.  Taking the time every day to sit back and not worry about things and where I need to be, and just be with Him.  Spending more quality time with my family.

I have been working hard the past couple of days to be more like Mary and less like Martha.  I don’t want my life to be remembered as the crazy mom running around trying to get everything done.  I want to be remembered as the mom who slowed down her crazy life to spend time with God.  To spend time with her family.  To put away the computer to snuggle on the couch with her  kids.  Who decided to skip the gym to let the kids play outside.  Who got up an hour early to spend some alone time with my bible and God.  That’s who I want to be.

So why is this so hard?  Why is so hard to live like Mary?  Why is it so hard to worry about storing up your treasures in heaven instead of here on earth?  Friends, it’s because you must have faith.  You must believe that we are only on this earth for a very short time, and the greatest part of our life is waiting.  You must believe that this life is just a stepping stone to one that is far greater than we can imagine. 

But it’s hard.  It’s hard to believe in things that we can’t see.  But friends, you must walk by faith.  You must walk knowing that your impact on those around you are storing up your treasures in heaven.  You must walk knowing that your Mary attitude will make you much happier than your Martha atttitude.  You must walk knowing that even though we can’t see past this world right now there is a heaven waiting for us.  And it will be far greater than you can imagine.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

So, my prayer for you, is that you try and live your life like you have one month to live.  Don’t think of it as a death sentence.  Think of it as a way to change all of the things you want to, but always say I can do tomorrow.  We are not promised tomorrow, so do it today.  Forgive those who have done you wrong.  Hug your significant other and let them know they mean the world to you.  Take time out of your busy day to play a game with your kids.  The dishes will still be there later.  The floors will still need cleaned later.  Take time to be with Him today.  Get out your bible and spend some time in His word.  Even if it means locking y0urself in the closet to have 5 minutes to yourself. (Been there, done that)  Start living today like you only have one month to live!

4 Responses to “One Month To Live Challenge”

  1. 1 Alisa February 11, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Tracey, Thank you for another amazing blog entry. I honestly would say you are a Mary. As a friend to me, you have always been a Mary and someone I strive to be more like in my life. Your words have touched me and will direct me to try to change!

  2. 2 Renee February 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I so want to be a Mary!! I agree with Alisa you already are a Mary in my eyes!

  3. 3 Liz Puffer February 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Tracey our church did One Month to Live awhile back. I agree it is life changing.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

    Liz Puffer

  4. 4 christi March 13, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Oh girl- you are SOOO a Mary. I cried when I read this. I’m so convicted. Thank you for this. You are so amazing. What a blessing you and your writing is to me. The Lord is using you in GREAT ways to bless others. You are surely storing up your treasures in heaven. Well done good and faithful servant. xoxo, chris …miss you. wish we were in Orlando so we could see you.

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