Live Like You Were Dying (Last Holiday)
Scene Setup: It is New Year's Eve at a posh European hotel dining room. Georgia Byrd, who has come to spend every dime she owns because she has been told she has just three weeks to live, is seated with politicians and captains of industry who assumed that she is one of them -- the super-rich (though she has never made that claim). But corporate giant and philanderer Matthew Kragen is about to unmask Georgia, whose simple honesty and advice have nearly undone his deals.
Scene: Kragen taps his glass to indicate a toast which he proposes to Georgia. He says he finally has the answer to the question they have all been asking: "Who is this fascinating woman." He hypothetically asks if she is a competitor, a political power broker, or an entrepreneur? None of these, he tells the table, "Georgia Byrd is a sales clerk in my New Orleans store. In the cookware department, no less. Salary: $29,000 a year. Cheers, Georgia. Or as we might say back home, 'Attention Kragen shoppers. Imposter -- aisle three."
At first, no one at the table believes Kragen. Georgia just smiles and shakes her head, then she stands and says that Kragen is right. "I'm just a sales associate in one of his stores. One of the best. Or I was, up until a couple of weeks ago."
Her friend, Chef Didier tells her that she does not owe the table any explanation about her life, but Kragen interrupts, "No, excuse me, I think she does. She's had plenty to say about our behavior all week. And the only reason we took it was we thought she was somebody."
Georgia says that she did not come to give anyone false impressions, but simply to spend all of her money. "You see, I'm gonna die." Chef Didier is sad, and Georgia pats him on the arm. "You see, I had that same reaction when I found out I only had three weeks to live. I mean, I tried to keep it to myself for exactly this reason. It's a party-killer, ain't it?"
Everyone is looking away, not sure what to say. But it has not been a pity party for Georgia. She talks about her accomplishments since her diagnosis. She says, "Never in my life did I think I would end up in such a beautiful place doing so many incredible things. So, I'm sorry if I was maybe a little too honest with you. But I wasted too much of my life being quiet. I was afraid, I guess. You know how it is. You keep your head down, and you hustle and hustle. Then you look up one day and wonder, 'How did I even get here?'" The congressman at the table looks up and agrees with her. She continues, "See, some of the things we care about a lot are pretty worthless. So, I hope I haven't spoiled your evening, and it's truly been my pleasure...Happy New Year."
Application: How would you live your life if you knew you were going to die? Georgia Byrd believed she had only three weeks to live so she decided to take a trip of a lifetime, and straighten out some folks along the way. What would you do?
Well, the bad news is, you are going to die. Each and every one of us has a divine appointment with death. We do not know when it will come, but it is inevitable. Many people say that they would do things differently if they knew they only had three weeks to live, but the fact is that many people only have three weeks to live, they just don't know it yet.
What should we do in light of our impending mortality? We should live like dying people. We should shift our priorities now -- like Georgia said, "Some of the things we care about a lot are pretty worthless." Our goal should not be to cram as much of this world into our lives as we can -- we aren't going to stay here. Instead, we should be using all of our time to invest in our eternal home. If we could just set aside our temporal eyes for a moment -- the eyes that only see the here and now -- and see things instead through God's eternal perspective then I am sure many of us would reorder our priorities. Secondly, we would be more bold. We are only quiet because we are concerned with what others will think of us. But if we truly believed that soon none of those other people would matter, only the great Audience of One, how would that affect your boldness? Don't wait. Now is the time. None of us know how much longer we have, so we need act like time is running out -- because, with each moment that passes, it is.
Illustration's Sermon General's Warning: People at the table appear to be drinking champagne.
DVD Chapter: 16
Start Time: 1:29:39 End Time: 1:33:13