It has been exciting entering the last few weeks of pregnancy. I have been packing my labour bag and getting ready for the arrival of my second baby. We don't know exactly when this bundle of joy will arrive.
It's always advisable to be prepared beforehand instead of waiting for the last day. Technically we'll never know when the last day really is with pregnancy. So I've been living the past few weeks expecting the coming of the baby as if any of these days could be my last day pregnant.
We pregnant mothers have been constantly reminded by our midwife to be prepared for the coming of our baby, but how often have we ever been told to be prepared for the last day of our lives?
Life and death are as unpredictable as pregnancy. A few years ago, a family of eight lost half of their family: a father, a son, two daughters, and a grandmother to an accident. One day the whole family were happily travelling together; the next day only four family members were left behind in this world.
No one knows when the end of our lives will be. It can surprise us like the accident that took the lives of this unsuspecting family.
We often avoid the D-word. Well, who likes talking about death! It's not the best conversation starter at a social event, neither is it the most anticipated sermon at church. After all, we are merry people who focus on the positives of life and don't dwell on negative things such as death.
However, the point is this—death isn't as gloomy as we make it out to be. While death is depicted as the end of our lives here in this world, it actually is the beginning of life with God in eternity for all who believe and confess Him as Lord and Saviour.
The mother of the family I mentioned above asked for the funeral to be a celebration of lives—the lives of her husband and children who were lent to her here on this earth but have now returned to God. She understood clearly that they were just sojourners on this earth and death meant they have gone home to where they belonged—they are citizens of heaven (Philippians chapter 3, verse 20; Hebrews chapter 11, verses 13–16).
I once used the song 'If today was your last day' by Nickelback in my class to discuss life and death, as well as leaving a legacy. The assignment of the day was to reflect on the lyrics and write what they hope their eulogy will be.
Some wrote they wanted to be billionaires who had everything so they could make an impact worldwide. Others wrote they wanted to be remembered for being generous in helping the poor and needy. Still others wrote about uniting their broken family by being the bridge to connect everyone together again.
The next question which followed was the million dollar question—how do we make that eulogy a reality? It's one thing to hope for something, it's another to make it come true.
I want to be prepared for my last day. Like my students, I too want to live a life which leaves a legacy worth remembering. However, I don't know exactly where to start.
Ecclesiastes, chapter 5, verses 18–20 records the thoughts of one of the world's wisest men, Solomon:
'After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it. That's the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live.'
You and I can start to prepare by utilising our talents to make the most out of each day God has given us. We can aim to give our best in everything we do on a daily basis. This leaves a good testimony. We can try to leave the past behind and not to brood too much over the future.
Day to day
It's easy to be caught in the mundane, sailing through the busyness of each day making ends meet. There is a high tendency to postpone washing the baby clothes and packing the labour bag thinking, I still have time for those later.
However, if I didn't make it a point to prepare the baby essentials amidst my busy day, I will regret not preparing enough clothes to keep him warm should the baby arrive today.
Pregnancy has taught me not to postpone things I should be doing today for any one of these todays could be my last day.
We won't suddenly turn into Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mother Theresa. Such successful people made a difference in this world by making a decision to do everything within their capacity every single day.
Perhaps it's time to consciously live out Christ from day to day by ensuring every moment counts. How we live our daily lives matters!
Esther Koh is a stay-at-home mum living in Wellington with her husband and three year old son. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html