You’re Running Out of Time

11 Jan

What would you do if you knew you only had six months to live?  If tomorrow, you were given an hour glass and you knew when the sand ran out, it was all over? We all say the normal things…travel, more time with family, yada yada. But how will you leave this world a better place? How would you change the things that need changing if you knew you only had 6 months to do it?

Would your marriage be different? Your relationships with those around you? What about the way you look at the homeless guy on the street or the nasty co-worker? What would you do with your last six months to leave your mark on the world and leave it a better place when you’re gone?

We’re giving you a challenge. Care to take the dare?

We’re looking for five daring participants to take this life changing challenge as we share it with the world.  Would that be you? We’ll be posting the challenge with complete details next Saturday and chosing the participants based on the answers we receive through out the week to the questions we’ll post.


Posted by on January 11, 2009 in encouragement


15 responses to “You’re Running Out of Time

  1. Terri Main

    January 11, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I think I would just keep doing what I am. Teaching, writing, ministering, maybe train someone to take over one of the ministries, otherwise pretty much the same. I might move up the time table on a couple of books I’ve wanted to write.

    You see, when I turned 50, I realized that for several years I had been living with more of my life behind me than in front of me. That changes your perspective.


  2. Joyce A. Anthony

    January 11, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I’m honestly not sure what I would change-I try to live each day as though it is my last–making as much difference each day as I possibly can.

  3. Deb Hockenberry

    January 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I’ve been through a near death experience before so I have an idea what Will Smiths’ character is feeling. What would I do or what did I do? I came out of my coma knowing that God put be back here for something. First thing you do: pray & listen for His answer. Second: if you don’t recieve His answer right away, you be nice to all people. No matter what kind of people they are (which can get you in trouble sometimes). At this point in my life I have a strong feeling of why I’m here. To write for children. Also to write for children who also have MS & give them hope & encouragement. Science has finally discovered that yes, kids do get MS. Heck, I could have told them that 30+ years ago! Well, anyway this is what I would (and am trying to) do. I have no idea if this comment makes sense to anybody else but here you go!

  4. Eathan

    January 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I had to stop, really stop and consider what that would mean for me! To me it has to mean stepping it up! no matter what I do for people right now- that is what I do from my comfort zone. But to give of oneself beyond what is routine and comfortable. Its all about GIVING!! Giving from within, beyond what is comfortable. Always trying to recognize circumstances as opportunities to make a positive difference in people’s lives. God teaches us to love thy neighbor as we love ourselves. What does that really mean? Certainly not to help only when its convenient or to expect a benefit other then the rewarding feeling that we made a difference. Take the challenge? Heck yea I’m
    all in!

    I’m unemployed right now, I have bills piling up, stress of providing for my family during hard times. Stress just like everyone else………..on second thought I do have a home, I do have food, family and health… no…..its not stress like everyone else!! There are many that don’t have anything close to what I have. And most important I have the Lord behind me!!! So yes I can make a huge difference and I will.

    Than you Katrina! Thank you for giving us all an opportunity to open our eyes, to better ourselves, to carry out God’s will. Sometimes we all need a reminder that we’re all God’s children and it’s up to us to help each other…..So I invite anyone and everyone to join in on this mission, I just hope you’re not too busy to care enough.

  5. Katrina Wampler

    January 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I appreciate those that have taken the time to respond to this difficult question. I’ve heard several people, both on here and off, say they wouldn’t change anything. To be honest, that just isn’t true.

    If you really thought you were out of time…things would change.

    When the doctor came in my hospital room and handed me a living will, he said, “call your next of kin. Find someone to raise your children. You’re not coming out of here alive. Your pulmonary embolism carries a 99% chance of fatality. Call your family”

    I’ve always been a ‘good’ person. I’d give anyone the shirt off my back. But when you come face to face with death and you suddenly realize you’re leaving this world, you start to wonder…. “will anyone other than my family even notice I”m gone”.

    Truth is, our memory only last about 3 generations. Sometimes not that long.

    How would you pay it forward if you got the test results that show you’re out of time? How will you leave this world changed? Who would you forgive and who would you reach out to?

    The fact is…. we are running out of time. All of us. And whether or not there is a world still standing when we leave it, we only have today to make a difference. I don’t want to die and people say, “she was a good person”. I want people’s lives to forever be changed because I took the time to help them when they couldn’t help themselves. Because stepped outside my comfort zone and reached beyond my thinking and did something extraordinary that forever altered the course of their lives.

    What are you doing? You’re running out of time

  6. Vivian

    January 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    My life expectancy isn’t long due to my age and my disabilities, however I know I “could” possibly live another ten to twenty years.

    If I were given the news that I had only six months to live, my life would change. Today, if I’m not feeling well or the pain is “too” much, I back off, put off, and don’t push through to do things or go places, such as attend church this morning. With a deadline, the pain wouldn’t matter as much; the fact I might feel ill wouldn’t stop me unless I couldn’t crawl out of bed.

    The first item of my to-do list would be to force myself to help my ailing husband with his projects. I realized as I considered this question that I often pooh-pooh or ignore all the things he does to keep himself occupied and to be helpful, or at least think he’s helping. I would worry less about the mess he causes and leaves and enjoy being with him more.

    The second thing I would do would be to volunteer at our Hope Center, where clothing, food, and emergency help is provided for those in need. If I knew that pushing myself physically wouldn’t shorten my life, that I only had six months, I would endure the pain and do the work.

    As far as my family — I would visit them more, even if driving creates spasms in my neck and back. I would be sure that each one knew that he or she was important enough that I would use some of my remaining time with them. I would write letters and notes to send them regularly that would let them know how much I love each and every one.

    I would force myself to get out and visit neighbors, do my best to brighten their lives as I finish mine.

    All through this time, I would pray more, read my Bible more, and work to find peace that I could share with those I would be leaving.

    I would treasure each day and fill it with as much love and joy as I possibly could.

  7. Ginger Simpson

    January 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Interesting question, and a scary one. I truly don’t think you can answer the question until you actually face the dilemma. Everyone’s response will be what they THINK they will do. A long time ago, someone sent me a saying, “Today is a gift.” It’s something that stuck with me and reminded me to cherish every moment I have here on earth. I get depressed at times, but somewhere, a little voice in the back of my head reminds me that if the grim reaper came to claim me, I would go out kicking and screaming to stay.

    It was so much easier to make a difference when I worked outside the home. Passing on a smile, a cheery word, and being a good listener always brought good feelings. Everyone needs warm fuzzies sometimes, and I’ve always been the warm fuzzy girl. I look for the best in people instead of the worst, and often, you really have to dig deep. 🙂

    I harken back to the night before facing surgery. I’d been told it was most likely Ovarian Cancer and survival rates for that type were slim to none. I had just divorced, was on my own for the first time in my life, and I had no one to voice my fears to, except God. As I prayed for his help, in the silence, a voice, loud and resonating, spoke to my heart. “You are not alone, and everything will be fine.”

    The fear immediately left me, and I found a peaceful sleep. I entered the hospital in an unexplainable calm, since I’m a ‘mountain out of molehill’ person when it comes to my own health. As God promised, the tumor was benign, and strangely, I wasn’t surprised. So, he’s become my confidante, my best friend, and although you won’t find me on church on Sundays, our relationship doesn’t suffer because of it. I don’t need a designated place to visit with him. He’s in my heart.

    So, in answer. IF I learned I had a short time to be here…and none of us truly knows when the end will come, I pray I would continue to be the person I always strive to be. When I find myself falling or in need of help, I find my best friend and ask for help. His answers aren’t always vocal, in fact, it was only that one time that I heard him, but evidence that he HEARD me are always somewhere in my day. Just yesterday, my Autistic grandson READ seven words to me that he’s learned in school, and he showed me that he can spell his name on my keyboard.

    I can’t say I would get involved in politics or march on Washington to make a difference…that’s pretty ridiculous at my age and financial state, but as I said in a previous post…I can provide a positive and humorous side that just might make people feel better around me. You never know when what you say or do can may a difference in the life of others.

    Great question, and a very challenging one. I didn’t expect to get into my own personal beliefs, but they are the center around which I revolve and remain sane in this crazy life.

  8. Katrina Wampler

    January 11, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    You’re right Ginger…we really don’t know what we would do unless we’re really faced with it.

    Great answer…each of you.

  9. Jackie

    January 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    If I had six months to live, I would write letters to every person in my life from my spouse and children, to the postman, and clients I work with. I would want to tell each of them something I appreciate about them and how they have made my life better. i would also tell them about the greatest gift I have in my life, salvation.

    Then I would spend quality tme with my children, not just the quantity that I do. When they are in school, I would spend time investing in the lives of others – people who I know are hurting, meeting needs – whatever the need may be – a listening ear, a ride to the store, baby-sitting for a single parent, whatever I could do to share the love of Christ with the world around me.

  10. Katrina Wampler

    January 11, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    I really like your response Jackie. I hope you’ll be taking our challenge. Watch for details next Saturday. We are just finishing up the details.

  11. joylene

    January 12, 2009 at 1:31 am

    I’d probably clean my house, downsize, get my husband’s things in order, mark everything so he could find stuff afterward. I wouldn’t tell my family. I’ve lost enough loved ones to know that I wouldn’t leave without telling them how special they are and how much I loved them. More than that, I’d write down how they changed my life. I’d make sure there was no guilt left behind.

    The thing is we all die. If I knew in advance that would be a good reason not to put anything off. Say all the stuff I should of that I’ve been putting off. I’d go out and buy everyone’s birthday gift for the next year. My mum did that. When my birthday came along and my sister gave me mum’s last gift, well, it was an awesome moment. She also marked our names on the bottom of all the stuff she wanted us to have. That made things so uncomplicated. I’d do that too.

  12. Marvin D Wilson

    January 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I honestly don’t know. It’s easy to SAY what one would do, we can TRY and feel immediacy but it’s a fabrication. Of course we can die at ANY time so feeling “no immediacy” is a fabrication also. Just that living in the comfort zone of “sometime” I’ll die causes complacency. This is a powerful thing you’re putting in motion, Kat. I’ll be paying close attention. The kind of stuff that brings out the best and worst in people. I’d LIKE to think I’d spend my last 6 months dancing (who cares about the arthritis), singing karaoke, visiting all my loved ones for one last “lets have some fun together,” taking up a love collection to allow some traveling and seeing some places I’ve always wanted before saying goodbye to this world, and boldly witnessing the love of Christ and salvation to every stranger I meet along the way. That’s what I would write if I were writing my memoirs in advance. But I can’t say for sure if that’s what someone else would write in my eulogy. Hope so, but just being honest.

  13. Scott Thomas

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Always a thought provoking question. The first thought is how liberating it would be to actually know how much time you have left. In a sense it can be a great relief. You are free to live each day because you no longer have the worries of tomorrow.

    For me living each day comes down to people and experiences. You can see clearly how meaningless a materialistic lifestyle is. What is truly important and meaningful in life is who you share it with and what you get from each day. 6 months may not seem like much time; but there are people in this world that already experience more life in 1 week than most people experience in a year (or 10 years). There are people who have never ventured more than 50 miles from their home!

    The sad truth is that many people given the news that they only had 6 months to live would see themselves as a victim and spend their remaining time crying “why me” instead of recognizing the amazing gift they have been given. It takes a very strong person to rise up and truly start to live (maybe for the first time) their last days with meaning and passion.

    The scarier question is, if you were given 6 months to live and you lived them as perfectly as you imagined and dreamed; what would you do if after 6 months you “lived”? Would you go back to your olds ways? Would you be resentful? Would you be scared to continue your life of passion and meaning?

    Best to not dwell on the hypothetical, and to design and live your life every day to your fullest potential. Dream big. Imagine your possibilities. Don’t let the days go by without getting something from them.


  14. marksmommy

    January 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    That is a hard question, but one that I have thought about before. When our son my born, my husband and I redid our living and written wills, and I thought a lot about the end of my life.

    If faced with this information I would immediately start to tell everyone how much they mean to me, (not sure why I don’t do this now). I would write a letters to my son for him to open on his birthdays. I would make sure I rocked him to sleep every night and kissed him as much as he allows me to. I would also make sure my special needs kiddos at school were going to be well taken care of.

    I would also start to build the foundation that I have always dreamed of. My foundation would be a life center. One where people who have faced adversity and find themselves hard position can come to get help writing a resume, borrow something to wear for a interview, search for a job. The center would offer budgeting classes, childcare while parents are on interviews, and full time counseling. Assistance with bills and expenses would be available as well. This would all be free of charge. The only requirement would be that once you are back on your feet, you help someone who is in the same situation as you were. This could look like being a mentor, helping coach someone through a mock interview, or donating to the life center to help fund the fund mentioned earlier. With six months left, I would cash in my trust fund (My husband and Son will be taken care of after my death by another fund) and use it to begin the operations, probably out of a church or other community building at first. Once the center is operating, I would spend my remaining time trying to secure sponsors and volunteers to carry out the center’s mission after my passing.

  15. Jackie

    January 13, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I love the vision that you have for a foundation – what stops you from starting it now – even if it had to be on a smaller basis?


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