I had planned on posting something different but life has a way of happening and changing so many things, right? About three weeks ago, I was with my sister in her bedroom when my mum walked in, looking slightly shaken.
“Hmm, you people,” she said. “I don’t know what is happening. I’m afraid. This life…This world we live in…”
She began telling us about how someone had just called to inform her about the death of another. The deceased was a man in his early forties, so, not old at all. Apparently he was found dead on the floor of his bathroom. It was a shock to everyone because it was sudden, and there had been no sign of illness, according to the last people who had seen him. We were sober, as is normal after hearing that sort of news, and this feeling increased later that night, when we heard of yet another death. But recurring stories about death is not the only basis for this post.
Someone else I knew passed away over the weekend. It wasn’t a very personal loss since we weren’t too close, but my goodness, his death hit me hard. When I heard the news of his demise, I couldn’t believe it and I was so heartbroken. I kept wondering how his family and extremely close friends felt (and most likely still feel) if I was that sad. He was every kind of adjective you hope to never use to characterise anyone who passes away—young, friendly, nice, ambitious, gracious, good (I’m sincerely not canonising him; he really was those things). And I’m not saying anyone deserves to die. The thing is though, when someone does die, it’s more preferable to hear the person described as ‘old’, ‘aged’, ‘elderly’. In some cases…you want to hear the deceased was ‘wicked’, ‘greedy’, ‘troublesome’, regardless of their age…I lie? I want to believe I’m not the only one who, after they’ve been told about someone’s death, feels relieved when they hear the deceased described using the latterly mentioned qualities.
So, I heard the news of the passing of this great guy on Sunday morning and I couldn’t think of much else. My head and emotions were all over the place. I had so many questions, most of them beginning with Why?
Why such a young person?
Why someone whose life was speedily taking off?
Why someone whose life had tremendous promise, someone who had so much to offer?
Why do I think the same won’t happen to me if it happened to him?
In my restlessness I found myself standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom. I stared at my reflection and the words my mum said when she came to my sister and me weeks ago, floated into my mind.
I was scared and confused, what with the number of deaths of young people prevalent nowadays—good people, responsible people who didn’t live questionably nor recklessly. In the midst of that fear though, another thought filled my spirit, a thought that came forcefully and with such strength in its conviction.
Death shouldn’t cause you to be afraid. It should only make you more determined to live intentionally.
Those words were a shock to my system. That’s so true, I thought to myself as I walked away from the mirror. How can we be afraid of something we know is inevitable? We must instead acknowledge it, accept it and prepare for it. I started to reflect on the life of this very young man, based on what I knew and on tributes written to him on Instagram, and I was challenged—challenged to live with purpose, challenged to make sure every moment of my life counts for something, challenged to impact and add value to every life I have access to, challenged to treat people better. I see the things he set in place before his demise and I know they will carry on even now he is gone. He has impacted a lot of lives, including mine and if each person he has touched agrees to pay it forward and live intentionally, he would be responsible for the positive chain of events that are bound to happen. I have no doubt that he fulfilled purpose.
What are you living for? What is the reason for your existence? Who or what group/s of people were you created for? How are you adding value to someone else’s life? What indestructible legacy would you leave behind after you depart this life? Have you tried to find out from your Creator (because that’s Who knows us more than anyone else)? What are you doing with the precious time you have been given? Heavy questions, I know, but highly important nonetheless. You may say you have nothing of relevance to offer, and look down on yourself, but we all have something we need to achieve for the sake of another person. No matter how small, unimportant or unknown you think you are, there is a calling you have that at least one person’s life is dependent on. No, no not necessarily something material.
That story you may be ashamed to tell may be someone’s deliverance. Your testimony can be what sets them free.
That business you’re afraid to start may just be what someone else needs to make their life easier.
That talent you’re not taking seriously, the gift you’ve decided to not develop is what someone else needs to set them on their course.
Also, the gift you have chosen to misuse can alter the destiny of another; because it’s not enough to put our skills and talents to use. How we use them also matters greatly. Yes…it’s that deep.
Your purpose is not about you and your fulfilment of it can kickstart unimaginably powerful occurrences. Lives and destinies are connected to yours, whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not. No, you’re not too young. You’re never too young. You may think you have all the time in the world but life really is short. In the blink of an eye, it’s all over. One day you’re a carefree, twenty-something year old with few worries; the next, you’re almost a hundred years old—weaker and too tired to achieve much. Just like that I turned thirty, wondering, “Where did all the time go? Where in the world did all the time go?”
Each new day we see is an opportunity to live purposefully. We never pray for bad things to happen to us. We don’t pray to die young. Certainly not. But the truth is our lives can be demanded of us at anytime, sometimes before we think we are ready. And even if you do live to see eighty, ninety, a hundred even, you mustn’t wait till so much time has been wasted to start the journey towards accomplishing your purpose. Stop wasting your life. Stop wasting time. Lives, generations, empires are dependent on your rising up and fulfilling your purpose. It’s my desperate plea to you today to live much more intentionally.
With Love, Always,