Live Like You Are Dying

Welcome  You may be familiar with the song, Live Like You Were Dying, performed by Tim McGraw and released in 2004.  Most people are, even if not fans of country music.  I’ve always loved this song and find it speaks to me.  In fact, I often find myself sobbing while listening to the lyrics.  Music and songs can certainly impact my mood and emotions, but often, sound advice can be found among the lyrics.  I listened to this song again recently and in the midst of my usual tears, I realized I had been hearing this song from the wrong point of view.

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Food For Thought  Yes, I’ve always liked this song.  It makes me wonder how differently I would live my life if I knew I only had a short time left.  Would I take that vacation?  Quit that job?  Be more adventurous?  With whom would I spend my time?  How would I spend my money, or would I even spend it?  Then I consider my reality, two realities, in fact.  Reality one: I don’t know when my last days will be.  They could be right now, for all I know.  So I understand the importance of not waiting to do the biggest, most important things in life.  In the song, there are medical circumstances leading to a new mindset of living like you’re dying.  But we don’t all get that option.  Any series of unforeseen circumstances can be leading us to our final days and we don’t even know it.  But the certainty is this–we all die, our days are numbered, our time is precious and limited.  Knowing this reality, shouldn’t I, rather we, be living like we’re dying?

Here is my second reality: I live scared.  I have not always lived with anxiety and fear.  When I was younger, meaning I didn’t have my own family, I would try to live life more fully while still being responsible for what needed to be done.  As I’ve grown older, however, I am scared to take risks.  I am scared of the impact they will have on my family.  I am scared of “rocking the boat” for others.  I am scared of financial insecurities.  I am scared of not being prepared for what might go wrong.  I am scared of being over or under prepared.  I find it ironic that the older I get, with my shorter amount of days, the less willing I am to take these risks and live the life I really want.

As I listen to this song and hear about sky-diving and rocky mountain climbing, I keep thinking to myself, I need to live like that!  I need to be the one living like I’m dying, because I know that I am.  So, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can live the second half of my life in a way that makes the most of the time I have left.  Well, I did quit that job, but I’m still scared to jump “all in” to a new writing career.  I’m unable to convince my spouse of living more adventurously and taking risks when it comes to following our dreams.  So every time I hear the song, tears fall and I wonder why I can’t live more like the lyrics that I find so insightful.

Then, the other day I realized I had been focused on the wrong part of the lyrics.  I had been so hung up on the “adventure” side of the song (yeah, especially that mountain climbing part!), I had completely missed the most important lesson.  In the chorus, we hear the following words, “And I loved deeper, And I spoke sweeter, And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying…”  After hearing this song for over a decade, am I just now focusing on probably the most important part of the song?

Sure, I want to get the most out of my time while here on earth, but it’s more crucial for how I impact others with my presence during that time.  I want to love my loved ones DEEPLY.  I want to speak SWEETLY and leave a trail of kindness where my presence has been.  And, I need to FORGIVE, before it’s too late.  It is much more vital for my family and friends to know their value in my life than to add another travel itinerary or career achievement to my list of accomplishments.  It’s more important to spend as much time as I have with my husband and daughter in the home we have now, than to spend all my time working for a new home we may or may not ever get in another part of the country.  It’s about the special people in my life and firmly establishing my feelings for them.

On that note, I had a heart-to-heart with Jesus this morning.  I’ve been really bogged down with some selfish desires lately, partly because I see my time on earth getting shorter.  What can I say, I’m a glass half-empty kind of person.  As I start panicking about missing out on all the things I still want to do in my life, I am becoming aware of my moodiness and self-centeredness.  Sad and pouting is not the best way to spend my time with my family.  So, I said I prayer.  I confessed my weaknesses.  I asked for help.  I asked for a new mindset of putting the wants and needs of my husband and daughter before my own.  I’m working on forgiving those who have left me feeling left out, unwanted, and unworthy.  If I’m going to live like I’m dying, I need to start with my relationships!

love, speak, forgive
Listen to the wisdom of the lyrics. It’s sound advice.


Today’s Scriptures  Here are ten Bible verses to jump start your study in terms of living and dying.  Contemplate on each of these verses and think about what they mean in context and how they impact your thinking.


Today’s Bible Study Strategy  Are you looking for a way to dig deeper into the verses you study?  There are many great tools out there for working through Bible studies.  I want to share this verse template with you today.  You can get a printable version on my Freebies page.

Bible Verse Notes Printable
Get a printable download for free here.


Here is my sample for completing this activity using one of today’s scriptures.

Sample Page Bible Verse Notes
Sample page using Ecclesiastes 12:13 for Bible verse notes.


Today’s Suggested Products from Amazon  These are tools I use during my Bible studies.

ESV Holy Bible, Journaling Edition, from Crossway Publishing

Sharpie Gel Highlighters

Sharpie Journaling Pens

Amazon Basics 3-Ring Binders, 4-Pack

Bostitch 3-Hole Punch