I was thinking about something to blog about today when I ran across this one video that stopped me in my tracks. I was shocked and heartbroken and almost could not comprehend the amazing attitude of a successful and seemingly healthy-looking television anchor who publicly announced he had only four to six months to live. WCIA-TV, news anchor Dave Benton told his viewing audience he had been battling brain cancer but that the growth was now too big to operate on.
“The goal here is to have a few more days and to make them the best that they can be in the life that I have here,” he calmly articulated.
How does one come to terms with the knowledge they will no longer be physically present on earth in less than six months? What of all the unfulfilled dreams? The missing-out-on part of life that seems to dim and fade away when one is given a final medical prognosis?
“I believe that I’m in God’s hands,” said Benton, who noted that he is born-again Christian. “I’m at peace and I know that he’s going to take care of the days ahead,”** he assured his viewers.
Well, I reasoned, I guess he’ll be all right then.
But his powerful declaration of being at peace caused me to wonder about my attitude and perspective on life. Would I be at peace knowing I had only six months to live? Would I be able to come to terms with my own mortality with the same quiet dignity as he? What about my life is such that letting go of it would be all right or not all right with me? More than anything right now, at this moment, I am thinking about how I can number my days.* That is to say, the intentional and deliberate art of making the most of whatever time I have–living it to the fullest, with gratitude and thanksgiving. It also means having the courage, discipline and opportunity to share my unique talents and gifts with the world as my solemn act of worship before the God who loves, created and purposed a life just for me.
I confess, I still have things left undone, people I need to reach out to and most important to me, a difference I want to make, so that when I do leave this earth, as Dave Benton so simply put it:
“I want to know that there’ll be a moment when I will stop and say, I hope I served…and that, “I did things well.”
May God bless you and keep you in your journey ahead, Dave Benton.
What say you? How would you live your life if you knew you had only four to six months to live?
*see my related blog about Numbering Our Days.
**Chicago Tribune, “Campaign anchor Dave Benton has terminal cancer,” September 14, 2014.