Thursday, April 14, 2011

If Today was your Last Day

While flipping through the radio, I chanced upon Nickelback’s song, “If Today Was Your Last Day.” --a song sentimentalizing the concept to not put off until tomorrow what you should do today. Carpe Diem.

Nice thought, but I contemplated upon it…no one could really act this out. Think about it—if today was your last day, would you go to work? Probably not. So should you not go to work every day? If today was your last day, would you exercise and eat healthy? Or would you eat that huge piece of chocolate cake without worries regarding carbs or sodium or calories? Or consequences.

Frankly, if I lived every day as if it was my last, I would not function in society. Curiously, as I contemplated upon the thought, I realized there was not one social connection I would feel compelled to rectify, or person I must re-connect to. However, there were a few I would like to (finally) give responses I have always desired, but restrained myself. Again…not the best example of living every day as if it were your last.

The song and motto are to nudge you. Give you the occasional boost to avoid putting off forgiving someone, or resolving a conflict. Or to avoid grabbing life by the horn, thinking you will “someday” try bungee-jumping instead of doing it when the opportunity presents. But it isn’t meant to be taken literally, down to each minute action.

For many Christians (most?) this is similar to their approach on Hell. For the most part, we lived as if Hell wasn’t a looming reality. We didn’t do everything to prevent people from going there; we didn’t evangelize 24 hours a day. We worried more about what people thought of us than if they were damned.

Once in a while, we’d hear a rousing sermon on Hell and (like hearing a Nickleback song) think, “Hey, I need to do something about this. Take it seriously” but soon we would languish back to our normal lives. Concerned about gas prices, continued employment and whether we should have pot roast or baked chicken.

We figured it was easier for the preacher or missionary—heck, it was their job to worry, rant and rave about hell, right? For us, it was real (just like today COULD be your last day), but we let God sort that business out. Up to Him whether one gets in or not. (‘Sides, being a Calvinst removes one a tiny step away from the responsibility of determining who is or is not in hell.)

American Christians for the most part are as worried about Hell as they are that this is their last day on earth.


  1. This use to bother me greatly that Christians weren't more concerned about hell. I don't think many take their faith that seriously. And I don't think many people are terribly reflective types either. People tend to be present oriented. I think I'm a good example of why it's not good to take hell to seriously. It makes you miserable and neurotic.

    Zoe and D'Ma, If we're talking chocolate molten lava cake, I'm all about that.

  2. In the past, I have analogized it to an airplane crash. If I (somehow) had foreknowledge that a particular flight on a particular plane was going to crash at a particular time and kill all of the hundreds of passengers and crew on board, I would do everything in my power to stop that plane from taking off. If I was unsuccessful in that attempt, I would still attempt to prevent as many people as possible from boarding onto it.

    The significant differences between that and hell is that the latter is *infinitely* worse. Instead of hundreds of people directly affected, it is everyone who will ever live (trillions of people?). Instead of meeting their momentary earthly death , they are going to horribly suffer for all of eternity. How can they be so complacent and unconcerned? Why are they not devoting every second of all of their lives to preventing that?


  3. At one point in my life this was really all I thought about. It was a function of the church I was a part of- there was also pressure to make sure you were "sharing your faith" everyday. Yes, everyday, invite whoever to come to church so they can learn about God and be saved.

    Interestingly, we actually did catch a lot of heat from other Christian groups who thought we were crazy.

    Maybe we were.