Dear Friends and Family,
On your last day on earth, what legacy will you leave behind? Our life is a book of blank pages, and every day we are given the opportunity to write our story. It is my hope that when my final chapter is written, I will have left a legacy that has influenced others to become better.
The saying “live each day as if it was your last” can be cliché. While catastrophe can strike at any moment, the routine and mundanity of life can often prevent us from self-checking ourselves into truly “living today as if it was our last.”
Years ago, I heard a sermon on how we should live each day with a sense of “urgency.” The sermon radiated with me, as it does to this day. But even still, I often struggle (or maybe the word is “procrastinate”) to get the important things done in my life. But this idea of “living with urgency” still runs through my mind. And the older I become, the more truth this notion holds. My kids are getting older by the day, the lives of those who depend on us at BVT rely on “urgent” action to ensure their lives continually improve, and the world desperately needs more of the peace, love and hope that can only come from Jesus. Perhaps more now than ever before. If we don’t sense the need for urgency, we may need to re-evaluate our priorities.
I have come to know an incredible family in town, through church and various mutual kids’ functions. The Lake family is an inspiration to so many across East Texas and beyond. Their passion, first and foremost for the Lord, and then for others, is something I strive to emulate. I admire their love for family, for their fellow neighbors, and how they continually look for ways to honor the Lord through various missions and outreach ministries. In fact, their family’s mission is to “keep the message of Christ real and meaningful in an ever-changing world.”
Kyle Lake, son of David and Shirley Lake, was a pastor in Waco whose life was tragically cut short. One Sunday morning, as he was preparing to baptize one of the church members, Kyle was fatally electrocuted in the baptismal.
While I never met Kyle personally, his legacy is one that continues to live on forever. Kyle was about being relevant. He had a passion for reaching out to those who wouldn’t normally go to church. Kyle knew what it meant to live with urgency as he constantly looked for ways to advance the message of the gospel into uncharted waters. He radiated joy from his heart each day and lived each day to the fullest.
The very last sermon that Kyle was supposed to preach on that Sunday, was found following that tragic event. A section from the sermon read:
On a crystal clear, breezy 70-degree day, roll down the windows and feel the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun. If you run, then allow those first few breaths of the cool autumn day to freeze your lungs…and do not just be alarmed, be alive. Get knee deep in a novel and lose track of time. If you bike, pedal hard. And if you crash, then crash well. Feel the satisfaction of a job well done, a paper well written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all, because soon he’ll be wiping his own. If you’ve recently experienced loss, then grieve and grieve well. At the table with friends and family… laugh. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then you might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then smell; the aromas are not impediments to your day; steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And taste…taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of life. Because it is most definitely a gift.
I don’t find it coincidental that this message was written just before his last day on earth. Because, again…Kyle lived with urgency. Urgency to love his family; urgency to love others; and urgency to love Jesus. To see each day as a gift…and to cherish the small things – the small moments – he had been given during his short time.
What is holding you back from living with urgency? What steps do you need to take to live like it was your last? Maybe it’s spending more time with your children or spouse. Maybe it’s improving a relationship you’ve been neglecting. Maybe it’s picking up that new hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. Or, maybe it’s getting your heart right with Jesus.
Whatever it may be, my prayer for each of us this month is that we see today as a gift. That we see it as a blank page, as an opportunity to write a story that will leave a legacy long after we are gone. And that we live with a sense of urgency, understanding tomorrow is never guaranteed.
You have a blank page ahead of you. What do you plan to write?
And as you write your story, always remember you can do hard things.
Until next time,