"Tired of livin' and scared of dyin'"

That old song always struck me as a little sad, but not too interesting. After all, I wasn't in either category: tired or scared. But it comes to mind today, as I am thinking about someone I know.

He's an old man, in his 90s, who has been utterly miserable for years. It started when his wife died. He used to make her life miserable, and then she up and died on him. Now, maybe he's feeling like he has no purpose in life. I don't know. But over the past several years, he has been the loneliest, most unhappy man I have ever known. He wants to die, and - I know, this sounds cold - he really needs to die. But he's terrified of it. He's terrified of what might await him after he leaves here.

I can't imagine a sadder life to live. And I can't imagine a more vivid illustration of the importance of living our lives today with the desired end in mind. We can't live an unpleasant, self-centered life and hope that somehow, at the end, everyone will think highly of us, and we can look forward to whatever awaits us.

I read some years back that everyone should occasionally read an obituary. It's a good reality check. That's because an obit is an account of what someone else thought was important about a person's life. I've read a good many of them, and it's very often a depressing task, reading the account of a life that left nothing good for having been lived.

Live life today with an eye on the outcome you want in the end. Live life today considering two things: What will your obit say, and what will your God say?

It's a big deal, and it can't wait until later. There might not be a later.

And have a happy New Year!

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