How would you approach life if you had a limited time on Earth (Photo courtesy of

Making Your Life Count When Time Is Limited

By Meta J. Mereday


We so often hear phrases such as, “Live for today because tomorrow is not promised,” or “Don’t worry, be happy” and most often they make for good slogans on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker but not an actual lifestyle map for people to follow.

There has been a movement that has been working towards changing that mindset as appreciation for life has taken on a new meaning, particularly for those who have had a brush with death or are facing terminal illnesses with a limited time to live.

This new awareness about living each day to the fullest focuses on more positive and proactive models that people should follow when it involves a limited time to live and what priorities people should have if they are faced with decisions based on devastating medical news. 

One of the leading publications on this subject is a book and challenge workbook entitled One Month to Live, authored by Kerry and Chris Shook, a ministry couple from Houston. 

The Shooks outlined the book to focus on four components that are spread over a 30 day period that motivates the reader to re-examine all aspects of their life as if they possibly did have a limited time to live.

They bring home the fact that once faced with this type of information, a person with a limited time to live re-assesses the things in their lives and what was once so important becomes less so.  

“I would make sure all of my business is in order…to ensure that my son and family would not have to worry about my affairs,” said Tiffany from New York. “Being debt free and fulfilling specific goals would also be a priority for me if I had a limited time to live; along with spending time with close friends and family while traveling as much as possible.”

From aspects that address how to live better and to learn humbly, if you think you have a limited time to live you learn how to love one another and appreciate the things that you do have and the special people in your life.

            In addition to the short chapters that are set up to be read daily, there is also a website that provides insight from other readers whose experiences echo the importance to “not sweat the small stuff” and motivational tools to live by.

There are exercises at the end of each chapter that encourages the reader to examine their lives and to address any issues that keep them from enjoying each day.

Whether it means the need to forgive a loved one, to stop worrying or to re-connect with a long lost friend, this book and other similar self empowerment publications bring to the forefront the types of proactive practices that make people more aware about what impact they can still have on those around them when they have a limited time to live.

Vivian from Texas said, “I would travel the world to be a witness on truly how good God is!”

A major component of this limited time to live movement is taking time to serve others and the joy that is rendered from sharing time, talent and resources with someone in need just for the sake of giving and not seeking reciprocity. 

Some may believe that there is never enough time in the day to get things done, except when faced with news regarding a terminal illness for themselves or a loved one, because there is a different mindset.

            Each moment, each day becomes one to treasure. The primary premise here lies in creating the awareness that it is never too late to make every day count and to make a difference.

Mereday is a contributing writer for Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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