I have a confession to make. I’m liking a lot of country music these days. Yeah. Yeehah! Now before you give up on me, you have to realize that I am still way cooler than your average guy. I still have that “Boom,, boom, pow,” rock the dubstep, and know who Rihanna is but I just can’t be a follower of Mama Monster. Still, I have had my free XM radio and my Slacker app playing country almost continuously. Steal my truck and call me “Bubba,” it’s true. Look it up.
I know, a lot of people say it’s depressing, but hey, don’t be telling me that while you list “Christmas Shoes” as a holiday favorite. That song is about a kid wanting to buy his mother new shoes for when she dies that night and meets Jesus. Am I totally insensitive by thinking the kid should ask if he can rent them at an hourly rate? Yeah, I am. That song bums me out.
I’m thinking most country artists are singing about life. Part of life is heartbreak. I wonder if my new love for country music showed up when I heard the words “end-stage liver disease.” I know what “end” means: all done, no more, finished. When you hear “end” attached to your life, it shakes you.
My diagnosis of “end-stage liver disease” changed my life. In an instant, people and relationships came rushing to the forefront. I thought of all the things I had never done. Once the overwhelming fear and worry wore off, my attention turned to living.
As weird as it sounds, I am glad to have discovered this new side of me. Tim McGraw nailed how I feel by singing, “I hope you have a chance to live like you were dying.” It’s a sad, sappy, country song, but it’s got some wisdom in between those twangs.
This verse is where I live right now. Yes, I go from test to test and doctor to doctor with this disease, but right now, I want to live deeper.
Title: Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying lyrics
Artist: Tim McGraw Lyrics
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 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 Shu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’
Like tomorrow was the end
And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it
What should you do with it
What can I do with it
What would I do with it?
My life is too short to:
1) Play church when faith is so real.
2) Miss a moment with the people I love.
3) Convince myself that I am too busy to exercise.
4) Drive past a sunset or fail to smell the flowers.
5) Hold onto a grudge that eats away at me.
6) Let needs of others go past without helping if I can.
Sure, there’s stress. There’s thousands of dollars of medical bills piling up. There’s our house that no one wants to buy. There’s the unknown of tomorrow. But today? Today, I’m going to live. I’m going to love. I’m going to trust my God.
If you are on the transplant journey, awaiting a liver, a heart, a kidney, a lung, I understand what you are living with. We’ve read statistics telling us that 20-30% of people awaiting transplants die waiting. We watch the numbers on blood tests and we now use terms we never knew before. We tell our story over and over. It can be exhausting and discouraging.
Instead, choose to LIVE! Make the most of every moment. Jesus told me He came to give life overflowing. Let’s choose to put our faith in Him and live that life.
I’m going to dance with my precious daughter at her wedding on July 2. I’m going to hold her tight and treasure every second. And yes, we’ll be dancing to a country song too! Unfortunately, she won’t let me wear cowboy boots. (Heartland, “I Loved Her First.” )
Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -Jesus. John 10:10, NIV