“I forgot to live”, these were some of the final words of someone I knew for many years. On paper and according to society’s standards, he would appear to possess everything. He had a string of letters behind his name, travelled extensively; a mover and shaker in coveted social circles; held key positions on the boards of several prominent companies and doing well for himself financially. Yet in his last days’ none of these things mattered because the only thing that was meaningful for him was the phrase “I forgot to live”. He would gladly exchange all he had accumulated for the chance to do the things that he had neglected convinced that he had enough time to do them.
Sadly, this will be a reality for many people. Several things are competing for our attention daily, and we often lose sight of what is important. I meet people every day who on the surface seem to be brimming with success. It appears they have it all, but when you get to know them, you discover all is not well with their soul. When we take time to have meaningful dialogue with the people, we meet, it is surprising what we can learn about their lives. When we are on the outside looking in, we envy other people’s lives without realising that many are just keeping up appearances. The next time you are covetous of somebody else’ life, you should stop and evaluate if you want to be living their life?
“I forgot to live”, should not be the last words of anyone allowed to embrace life. In the final analysis, it comes down to what is important to us. Interestingly the persons I referred at the start his biggest regret was that he did not spend enough time with his family. On reflection, I realise that he was always working on one of his many projects. Whether it was in his business, serving at church, or attending a board meeting, he was always busy, in the end, he forgot how to live. A life that on paper that seemed of such value dwindled out to nothing with the frightening words “I forgot to live”.
In our pursuit of happiness, fame and fortune, we must not forget that we ought to live during the process. We are not certain of what our final days will look like, but we can live now so that there will be nothing to regret later. Don’t keep putting off things because you are convinced there is enough time at your disposal. Time is not obligated to wait until it is convenient for us to begin living. Abundant living is purposeful living, and the best and only way to do it is now. Don’t trade what God has promised for things that will lose their value with time.
“I forgot to live”, are terrifying words, but they don’t have to be your words. Don’t allow the world to dictate what your successful life should look like. Make each day count and live your best life as the moments’ pass. The only time that is given to us is the time we have in our hands, so make the most of it. The last thing that we ought to be doing is striving to live a life that will end with us saying “I forgot to live”.