“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a
banana.” – Anthony Oettinger
According to a 2014 National Vital Statistics Reports (NVSR) publication there were 2,626,418 deaths in the US that year. That is 724.6 deaths per 100,000 people; and an average of 7,195 deaths per day. The same report indicates a life expectancy of 78.8 years. Following are the top 15 causes of death:
- Heart disease
- Lower respiratory diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Influenza & pneumonia
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pneumonitis due to solids & liquids
Someone once said, “To live is to experience things, not to sit around pondering the meaning of life.” So, rather than making this article philosophical, I’ve chosen to focus upon the practical. Scientifically speaking, there’s no way to “slow time down.” As Tracy Lawrence’s song affirms, “Time Marches On.” For most people, there’s also no way of knowing our length of days on this planet. Because of these realities, we should do what we can to make the most of life.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
“What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;” (1 Corinthians 7:29)
“those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31)
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16)
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Col 4:5)
Making the Most of Life
- Determine what the most important thing in your world is… what means more to you than anything else? Once you find that answer, have the discipline and courage to intentionally build your life around that thing! For Christians that central “Thing” is God Himself. However, the ways in which your devotion to the Lord is displayed may vary greatly. Find out what particular expression of “God love” lights your fire, and give yourself fully to it.
- Once you know what your life is and determining what expression gives you greatest satisfaction and joy, surround yourself with others who feel the same way! Or at least with others who will support you in your life’s purpose. There’s no getting around the fact that human beings and human interaction are the primary “stuff” life is made of. It stands to reason, therefore, that you should find some decent humans to be in your world. If you have stupid or bad humans in your world, (as long as these are not dependents), you have my permission to kick them out of your world. Life is too short to spend on stupid people.
- Take risks and try new things. This will expand who you actually are – your internal, true self – and add richness to your life that boredom and familiarity strip away with the years. Eat a different kind of food, go to a new place, meet new people, try new activities. I recently had this experience with olives. I was quite convinced (I’m stubborn) they were nasty until “accidentally” eating one on a Caprese salad. I was surprised that I like the salty taste, and the carb-free happiness it’s brought me is considerable. Hockey is another example. I’ve never watched an entire hockey game until this past year when my wife and I went to a Greenville Swamp Rabbits game… and had a blast. My piggies (toes) wanted me to share my final example – running shoes. I’ve never owned a truly high quality pair of professionally-fitted running shoes. I had no idea my feet could be so happy!
- Serve others and love hard. As I stated in #2 above, people are the primary “stuff” of life. Having the right people in your life is essential to a full life, but also how you interact with those people is what counts. Keep in mind that the majority of folks have next to zero self-awareness, and drift aimlessly through life seeking what will bring fleeting happiness or relief from pain. Being aware of how others perceive you will help you to become “others-minded” and bring a steady stream of enjoyment into an otherwise arid life. Loving others is a choice you make every day… focus on others and life will almost instantly become more full!
- Write down the important stuff. Keeping a journal in some form of fashion has been a habit of mine for most of my adult life. Sometimes I’m just “logging” my activity on my calendar, while other times I’m writing an extensive journal. I’ve found that keeping track of what I do helps my failing memory, makes me more active, and helps me appreciate the “moments” God blesses me with.
- Unplug from the machines. While I firmly believe you shouldn’t follow this tip until you’ve finished checking out my website, www.ScottCrutchfield.com, I see myself and many others drifting into the cyber world of FaceChat, SnapBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., and missing out on the richness of real experiences all around us. I love technology and feel compelled to “upgrade” my phone every 6 months or so (mostly out of boredom), but I know countless hours are lost every day in the swamp of technology. A recent study by mobileinsurance.com revealed the “average” American spends 90 minutes per day on their phone. I’d hate to see what that number looks like in our kids and youth! Nothing wrong with the machines, but our addiction to them is depriving us of all kinds of rich experiences in the world around us. Unplug, yo.
Conclusions From CrutchiBabee
Go drop a c-note on comfy running shoes, eat some olives, and take in a hockey game! This life is so short, no matter if you’re alive only days or 100 years… it’s still short! The richness of life isn’t measured in quantity, but quality. Quality living comes from doing the six things mentioned above. Please share this with someone you know who needs to re-focus on the important things! Stop fussin’ and fighting over things that won’t matter in 20 years. Stop worrying about things that may never happen and that you cannot change. Love God hard, and the people He’s blessed you with!