Like many of you I’ve developed some New Year’s resolutions for 2016. I want to lose weight, eat better, exercise, and hang up my clothes instead of throwing them on the chair in my bedroom. I want 2016 to be the year of self-improvement.
But what would I do differently if I learned that this would be my last year of life on earth?
I began thinking about this because of a woman named Vonette Bright. Her health was failing throughout 2015, and she knew she wasn’t long for this earth. In December she was told she would have about three weeks to live.
She and her husband were the founders of Campus Crusade for Christ. When my husband Dave and I were serving at the headquarters of Campus Crusade I had many opportunities to be around this couple. One memory that stands out to me was when we were in their home with our daughter Bethany, who was about two at the time. At some point we realized we couldn’t find our car keys—Bethany had hidden them somewhere in the Brights’ home!
We finally found the keys in one of the drawers in their bedroom. I was so embarrassed, but Vonette acted as if this type of event happened all the time. I learned that day that Vonette was always full of grace.
Vonette spent her last few months on earth doing what she did her entire life. She called and encouraged people, she spent time with close friends and family, and she challenged people to share their faith and disciple others and to spend time in prayer. She shared how excited she was to finally see the Lord and her husband, who died in 2003. Their marriage was one of love and true partnership and as a result they were able to lead a worldwide ministry without any scandal or embarrassment to the Lord. Up to her death on December 23, you could sense the joy about ending her journey here on earth to spend eternality with Her Lord Jesus.
Vonette Bright holding hands with then President George W. Bush during a National Prayer Event
There is a popular country music song by Tim McGraw called “Live Like You Were Dying.” May we live 2016 with that thought in mind—that we live our lives like today is our last. That our days will count for eternity. Yes, I definitely need to follow the my resolutions of being a healthier me, but I also want to have the attitude of living my life knowing that my life will soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last.