by Deacon Dana Nearmyer
I recently served as deacon at my very good friend’s funeral.
We had many frank talks previous to his death. He really drank in each moment and celebrated his life. His faith and family were his top priorities. He didn’t sweat the little stuff. He was an amazing coach, dad, servant leader and husband. He gave me frequent stern looks that said to me, “When are you going to live like you were dying?”
He taught me so much during our 18-year friendship, and showed me — and many others — a great example of being fully alive after his cancer diagnosis. Scott wanted us all to not wait for a diagnosis to fully engage in our relationships. Today is a gift from God to say precious things to those we love. Tim McGraw sang a popular song that keeps bouncing through my head. It says:
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’
He said, I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden goin’ fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I, I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again . . .
I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’
And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’.”
Look for ways to encounter the divine and sacred in your normal day. Open your heart and mind to seeing the reality of your eternal soul now, when you can do something about it.
Consider on Dec. 30 bringing your family at 7 p.m. to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Kansas City, Kansas, to experience a profound time of eucharistic adoration with Archbishop Naumann. I am resolving to take family trips, tell family stories and create great memories — not because I am diagnosed with a dangerous illness, but because of the brilliant shining light that Jesus put in my friend’s eyes when he asked God deeply in.
We are God’s kids. He really, really loves us. He wants to take care of us each day. He desires a deeply personal relationship with each of us. He has unique gifts to give us that make us happier and increasingly more complete.
Reach out. Be fully alive. Ask your dad, Jesus, to show you how; he will not fail you.