In January 1984, Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts retired from the Senate and declined reelection. Yet it wasn’t the thought of defeat that prompted this. It was because a few weeks earlier, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, which could not be cured but could be treated and probably would not have affected his physical abilities or his life expectancy.
According to Rabbi Harold Kushner, the illness didn't force Mr. Tsongas out of the Senate. It did, however, force him to accept that he wouldn't be around forever. He wouldn't be able to do everything he wanted to. But what exactly did he want to do?
As Kushner writes, “[Tsongas] decided that what he wanted most in life, what he would not give up if he could have everything, was being with his family and watching his children grow up. He would rather do that than shape the country’s laws or get his name in the history books.” After Mr. Tsongas decided to retire, a friend wrote to congratulate him on having his priorities straight, adding “Nobody on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.’”
Isaiah 38:1 says, “In those days, Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” As you think about your life, ask yourself one important question: What am I living for? If you knew you had only six months to live, how would you spend it? Would you live differently than you do now?
God wants you to live a faithful life, and know that Jesus Christ is the way to salvation. For more information on how our free online Bible course can help show you God's love, please contact us today at 1-877-711-5214. We want to help you use your time to the glory of God.