As many of you have heard, over the past several weeks, I’ve had the honor of being a part of the launch team for Nadine Brandes’ new book, A Time to Die. The book takes place in a dystopian society where people are given clocks at conception – clocks that count down the years, days, hours, minutes until they die. The story opens at the beginning of Parvin Blackwater’s final year and follows her as she tackles how to live it. I’ve joined with several bloggers and the author in a blog hop that wrestles with this question: If I had one year left to live, how would I live it? (You will find links to their responses at the end of this post).
As I began to ponder this question – how would I live if I only had one year left? – through reading A Time to Die and other people’s responses, two Bible passages came to my mind, and they haven’t left. One is in Ephesians and the other in Colossians, but both have a common phrase: “Make the most of every opportunity.” The context of the Ephesians and Colossians passages is how believers should live: as light and salt.
I think that is how I would live if I had only one year left.
I can’t express how overwhelmingly tempted I would be to quit my jobs, leave my writing behind, and only spend my time with my family and closest, dearest friends, making new memories. For me, though, I’ve come to realize that wouldn’t be making the most of every opportunity I’ve been given. At best, I’d be making the most of one opportunity.
So, I wouldn’t quit my jobs. In fact, I’d be more intentional about building good relationships with my co-workers and supervisors and (oh gravy) those customers who complain about things I have no control over. I’d listen more, and offer my opinion less. I’d ask about their lives, and follow up.
I wouldn’t quit writing. I am midway through a novel that I’m very convicted about writing, and I have an idea sitting in the back of my head that I know I need to write as well. If anything, I’d become more disciplined about writing. I would keep working on my fiction, my blog, and I’d probably write letters to my mom, sisters, and nieces. My written words would be a way for people to carry me with them even after I’m gone, so I want to leave behind a legacy of grace, courage, love, and truth.
I wouldn’t let the promise of only a year keep me from establishing new relationships. Of course, I will want to spend a great deal of time with the people I am closest to, but I want to keep putting myself out there and meeting people and growing friendships.
I would unapologetically get rid of purposeless drains on my time and energy. I would cancel Netflix, stop worrying about what people think or how they’ll respond to the things I do and say, and forget about pursuing having a career. And, somewhere in there, I’d like to visit my mountain.
The reality is, God is the only One who can see my clock. I have no guarantees about when I’ll die, but I am guaranteed that this life as I know it will end. Whether that’s in a year or ten or fifty, I want to be able to say that I have made the most of every opportunity.
What about YOU? How would you live if you only had one year left to live? Comment and let me know!
About A Time To Die:
Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.
In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.
What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.
You can read my review of A Time to Die here.
And guess what? YOU have an opportunity to win a signed paperback copy of A Time to Die AND a $10 gift card to Amazon! (Exciting, I know). Enter below!
Want to hear what other people would do with their last years? Click the links below.
9.03.14 – Nadine Brandes
9.08.14 – Ashlee Willis
9.11.14 – Caitlin Schesser
9.15.14 – Jennette Mbewe
9.17.14 – Heather Fitzgerald
9.19.14 – Kristen Stieffel
9.22.14 – Rebekah Gyger
9.25.14 – Lydia Thomas
9.26.14 – Ashley Olson
9.27.14 – Angel Roman
9.28.14 – Rosalie Valentine
9.29.14 – Aubrei Crooke-Adams
9.30.14 – Sarah Grimm
10.01.14 – Jon Del Arroz
10.02.14 – Amy Brandes
10.04.14 – Kathrese McKee
10.07.14 – Karen DeBlieck
10.09.14 – Bethany Jennings
10.10.14 – Angie Brashear
10.13.14 – Adam Collings
10.15.14 – Bree Courtney
10.20.14 – Gretchen Engel
10.24.14 – JC Morrows
10.30.14 – Lisa Gedfries