This lesson is wonderfully taught through a high school junior, Kay Bothwell. Kay was greatly admired by both Christians and non-Christians alike. Not only had she given her life to Christ, but she had also allowed Christ to be formed in her.
One day she was given the following assignment in her English liturature class: “State how you would spend your time if you knew this would be the last week of your life.” Her essay read as follows:
Today I live, one week from today I die. If a situation such as this came to me I should probably weep. As soon as I realized there are many things to be done, I would try to regain my composure. The first day of my suddenly shortened life I would use to see all my loved ones and assure them I loved them all very much. On the evening of my first day I would ask God, in the solace of my room, to give me strength to bear the rest of my precious days and give me His hand, so that I could walk with Him.
On the second day I would awaken early in order to see the rising sun, which I had so often cast aside to gain a few more moments of coveted sleep. I would continue throughout the day to visit family and friends, telling each one, “I love you. Thank you for the part you’ve played in my life.”
On the third day I’d travel alone into the woods, allowing God’s goodness and creation to surround me. I would see, undoubtedly for the first time, many things I had not taken the time to notice before.
On the fourth day I would prepare my will; all sentimental things I possess I would leave to my family and friends. I would spend the rest of the day with my mother. We have always been very close, and I would want to especially assure her of my deep gratitude for her tremendous impact on my life.
On Friday, the fifth day, my life almost ended, I would spend the time with my pastor, speaking with him of my relationship with Christ and seeking advice for my final hours. I would spend the rest of the day visiting with those who are ill, silently being thankful that I know no pain and yet I know my destiny.
On Saturday morning I would spend my time with a special friend who is going through a difficult time with her broken family and seek to comfort her. The rest of Saturday I would spend with my treasured Grandparents and elderly friends, seeking their wisdom and sharing my love. Saturday night I would spend awake in prayer, knowing that God was by my side. I would be at peace now, knowing that because of Christ I was soon to going to spend eternity in heaven.
Upon wakening Sunday morning, I would make all last preparations, and then take my Bible, I would go to church to spend my last hours in worship and praise, seeking to die gracefully and with the hope that my life had influence on others for His glorious name. The last hour would not be spent in agony, but the perfect harmony of my relationship with Jesus Christ.
One week almost to the day after she handed in this essay, Kay Bothwell was ushered into eternity when she was killed in an automobile accident just outside her home in Marion, Indiana. For the last week of her life, at least, Kay lived life with the end in mind.
What a sobering article. Life… It seems to be here on day and gone the next. So please, let’s all learn the valuable lesson of living like we were dying.