Mom emailed last week to let me know that a former neighbor of ours had passed away. Her news was surprising, but perhaps not for the reason(s) you might imagine. You see, I thought he had passed away many years ago!

Mark Batterson, author of one of my all-time favorite books, “Wild Goose Chase”, says “I’m not convinced that your date of death is the date carved on your tombstone. Most people die long before that. We start dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don’t really start living until we find something worth dying for. Ironically, discovering something worth dying for is what makes life worth living.”

My highlighter could not lighten fast enough. It was so true! I feel as if my life – my purpose – began at 27, when I accepted Christ in my tiny duplex while the boys slept in the next room. In that sense, I’ve never been more alive.

However, if I’m not careful, I can allow other areas of my life to “die” long before my tombstone is ever engraved. It was this thought, after reading the above excerpt from Mark’s book, that proved to be the catalyst for my choosing kayaking over studying/reading/quiet time during my recent family vacation. While I love finding quiet places to read (yes, I’m an “only”), Mark’s words awakened me to the fact that I had allowed what little adventurous spirit I possessed to wane to a big fat “O” over time. That day, however, the adventurous spirit was sparked and I would go kayaking again in a minute!

While the goal of “living life to its fullest” will flesh out differently for every person, as well it should, I can say with almost certainty that I won’t be visiting this site for future travel plans or hanging off a cliff for fun. I can, however, say with all certainty that I will never view my life quite the same as a result of Mark’s divinely-guided insights, led by the “Wild Goose” Himself.

There’s no doubt about it. I want to live my life in such a way that my obituary date will match that of my last breath… and not one minute before.

After all, isn’t that when life truly begins?