Sunday, June 8, 2008

Like you'll never see me again...

The demise of actor Rudy Fernandez made me realize two significant things: First, life is short. Second, we are never sure of our tomorrows.

So many times we take our lives for granted because we are so sure that another day will be coming anyway, and we can always make up for things undone or unsaid. We treat the present carelessly, yet worry about the future. When in fact, the future is uncertain, a mystery. While the present is a beautiful gift to be cherished. What happens tomorrow rests not in our hands but in God’s. Sometimes, for some people, their tomorrows fail to arrive. Because their time is up, and they wasted their last day worrying about tomorrow – the day that never came.

Drastic as it may sound, but we are all guilty of this. We assure ourselves that many tomorrows are up ahead, so we live the present so casually and thoughtlessly. I’ll do this tomorrow. I’ll tell her I love her tomorrow. I’ll call my Dad tomorrow, when I find the time. I’ll thank my friend next time, for all the help he’s given. I’ll see you next time. We don’t bother to stop and wonder – what if tomorrow never comes? What if there won’t be any next time?

So goes the saying yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. I believe we can live our lives fully if we value the present, and keep in mind that life is short. What do you have now that you should be thankful for, yet take for granted? What are the things you need or want to do now yet have been waiting for next time? Have you been meaning to tell a loved one how much you love them, yet have been saving it for another day, for a better day?

I remember this sad yet touching story that was emailed to me a few years ago. There are actually different versions of it. But the lesson is one and the same. The father spent every day working hard to send his daughter to a good school. He was too involved with work that he missed out on the good stuff – like getting a hug from his little girl, or helping her with homework, or seeing her school play. He was too busy saving for her future, which never came, because one day his daughter got hit by a car, and died. The husband was too busy with work, with making money, that he wasn’t able to appreciate the beauty of life surrounding him – a loving wife, her tender touch, home-cooked meals, laughter and long conversations – until it was too late. The son who was always too busy to call Mom and tell her he loved her, until she died in her sleep, and his words were left forever unsaid.

We worry so much about the future, we busy ourselves with preparing for the future, our lives are too occupied with plans for the future. Nothing wrong with that of course. But if it hinders you from enjoying the present, from seeing the beauty around you, from appreciating God’s daily graces, from doing the simple things that are really important like saying thank you or I love you or I’m sorry, or give a hug or a kiss or a pat on the back, then you are already too caught up with the uncertain tomorrow and have taken today for granted.

So stop for a while and smell the roses! Dance like there’s no tomorrow! Love like you’ll never love again. Life is short and precious, so enjoy and make the most of what you have today, for only God knows our tomorrow.

I don’t want to forget the present is a gift,
I don’t want to take for granted the time you may have here with me,
Cause Lord only knows another day here’s not really guaranteed...
So everytime you hold me, hold me like it was the last time,
Everytime you kiss me, kiss me like you’ll never see me again,
Love me like you’ll never see me again.

- Like You'll Never See Me Again by Alicia Keys

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