What would you do with the time you had left if you had a clock that told you exactly when you’d die? In the book, A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, the dystopian society has just that, clocks that that tell them their second of death that they carry with them their whole lives (be it short or long). If you don’t have a clock, you are considered a Radical and cast over The Wall (a death sentence of sorts). The main character, Parvin, is a 17 year old girl with only a year left on her Clock and realizing this, she is regretting the life she has to show for it. She has decided to make a difference in her last year, a difference that will save Radicals and leave her remembered, but is it too late? She is young with limited resources and has to sneak around a corrupt government. This is a tough journey of finding God and herself, when everything around her seems to be putting her young faith and will-power to the test. Can she make a difference before her Clock runs out?
So, what would you do? How would you live?
What a hard question to think about! I’ve never really truly thought about it this deeply before. I know that I take my time for granted. Looking back at my short life, it goes so fast. I am almost the age that Jesus was when he died. Jesus knew he was going to die. It was prophesied, yet the people around him still didn’t really get it. I wonder if I would have gotten it. I also wonder if Jesus did this on purpose, you know, didn’t just come right out and say it because then he would be treated differently, maybe with pity, maybe a riot would break loose in attempts to save him, maybe people around him would see him as weak. Thinking about this question, I debated whether or not I would want to tell people when I would die, if I knew. How would they react? I worry that it would taint my last year with extra sadness and take up time, time that I didn’t have much of. Of course I would tell my husband and a few of those closest to me, but I’m not sure about everyone. Would you?
Before Jesus died, he was very intentional with his relationships and actions and he wrestled with God. Not to compare myself with Jesus, but this is what I can most relate to. I would want to be more intentional and I would definitely wrestle with God. In fact, I would probably be really angry at God. I think that it would be helpful to meditate on some scriptures about death and the hope we have in Jesus. Here are some that I think would be beneficial to meditate on.
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (Jesus speaking)
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
There are so many more encouraging scriptures on death and hope: two things that we have a hard time fitting together in the same sentence, but Jesus conquered death for us, in our place. Hallelujah! I trust His plan for me, even if it is death. Death is not my end, it is my beginning.
So, if I had a year left on Earth, like many others, I would spend most of it with my loved ones, talking about issues that matter and how we can make a difference together in my last year, loving the way Jesus loved and just being real. I would want to make a point to say thank you to those who had made a special impact on my life, real genuine thank you’s and write them down in letters to be read over and over again, about how much they’ve mattered in my life (especially to my kids who would never know me or how much I loved them in person……now I’m tearing up). I would try to take more pictures and videos, funny ones and sad ones, ones that portray our everyday life together and ones that speak truth and hope into my family. I would say sorry and forgive and try to mend any broken relationships or faults of my own that I had ignored, thinking would go away with time. And then I would want to make sure my heart was right with God and that He was truly the source of my hope, even in death. I’m sure the year would go by quickly and there would be things that I wish I had gotten done that didn’t. In my last year of life, I would hope to die more to self and live more fulfilled in Christ, knowing He is the true source of life, for eternity. All of these things are easier said than done, I know, but I would love to see the body of Christ encourage one another more in this. How can we encourage each other to live like Jesus lived? or die like Jesus died? Let us not be afraid to share the hope that we have!
If you are interested in how Parvin spent her last year in A Time To Die, please check out this book, written by my talented sister-in-law, Nadine Brandes! This is the first book in the Out of Time Series from Enclave Publishing. I am so impressed and proud of her! Thanks for continuing to live in a way that shows beautiful reckless abandon towards God’s will in your life. It is truly inspirational!
Get a sneak peek of the first chapter of A Time to Die here: http://nadinebrandes.com/2014/06/11/a-time-to-die-sample-chapter/