Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When You've Only Got 100 Years to Live . . .

I saw a great movie last night called "Stranger than Fiction." I think Emma Thompson is always fabulous and Will Farrell is great in this. I'm sure you all saw the previews--Harold (played by Will) begins hearing a voice (Emma Thompson) like an omniscient narrator in his life. He doesn't think he is going crazy, and the voice is just a major annoyance until it says, "Little did he know that his death was imminent," or something to that effect. Because the voice has been right about other things, he thinks the voice will be right about this too.

Unable to locate the author, he instead finds a literature professor (the excellent Dustin Hoffman) to help him figure out what to do. The professor helps him to see that what he really needs to do is make the most of his tragedy--in other words, to live the life he always wanted to live but never did. And then, when he has become the person he wanted to be, to embrace the death that is awaiting him--a poetic and meaningful death.

So the question I will send out into the void today is, "What would you do if you learned you just had three weeks to live?"

Personally, I'm torn. Would I strip the life savings to go to New Zealand? Would I stop putting off that sky diving trip? Would I go to the temple every day? Would I call every old friend just to see how they are doing? Would I take the train to Machu Pichu to see the city at the top of the world? Would I climb the steps of a monastary in Tibet, to learn what the universe wanted to tell me? Would I take treats to all my neighbors and finally learn the names of every one of them? Would I go to a Broadway play? Would I do my visiting teaching? Would I finally climb that fourteener I never got to the top of this summer? Would I go to Tahiti and take a surfing lesson? If it was winter would I snowski one last time with wild abandon down the steepest slopes I dared? If it was summer would I spend a day waterskiing until my legs turned to Jell-o?

OR . . . .

Would I just pull my little family close and love them and love them until they could hardly stand it? Would I cook their favorite meals every night and read stories all day if they wanted it? Would I take them on nature walks and try to give my children one last glimpse into my personality? Would I sing my favorite hymn over and over until they had it committed to memory? Would I be more patient? More charitable? More Christlike?

I hope that I don't die in the next three weeks. I can see I have much to do and much to become.

1 comment: said...

I loved that movie, it was fun. I think that I would spend every minute of my time with my family and closest friends, just talking and laughing.... playing games, watching movies and eating. I think the others experiences would be really great but they seem like they would be better if you were going to be a round longer to reflect upon them.