If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the past few days, it’s more than slightly likely that you’ve heard mention of Daniel Fleetwood, the terminal cancer patient who’s dying wish was to see the new Star Wars Episode VII. Fans and well-wishers rallied around the cause, with #ForceForDaniel making national news and even getting support from many stars of the films, including Mark Hamill. Today, he got his wish.
“Daniel’s final dream was just granted!!!” his wife Ashely wrote. “Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilm made his final dream come true, in the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true!”
I’m glad for him, I really am. I know how real that eager anticipation for a beloved franchise can be, even without the fear of death. I personally recall, with a great degree of embarrassment, having the momentary thought, “I hope Jesus doesn’t come back before Episode III comes out.” (for the record, He didn’t. Also for the record, I would have been fine with it if he did.)
I only mention Daniel’s story to illustrate this thought; if I only had two months to live, what is it that I would hope to accomplish, what would I desire most to see come to pass?
There is nothing like staring down one’s own mortality to highlight what is truly the most precious thing in one’s life. The Bible talks about choosing wisely whom it is that we will serve, and that where we find our treasure is where our hearts will be also. We also see clearly that the things of this world are temporary, fading away in the light of eternity. I know that I’m a fan of so many movies, games, comics and shows, but I think (or should I say, hope) that given a shortened shelf-life I might re-prioritize things a bit. However, if that’s the case, and if tomorrow isn’t promised to Daniel or any of us, why do we find it so easy right now, as we are, to commit so much of our time to things that have little to no eternal impact.
I am certainly not advocating abandoning your passions and your favorite things, but I do encourage you to make sure that your life is producing fruit, that it has significance of an eternal value. Spend time with your family. Serve others with Christ-like grace. Forgive those who have hurt you. Impact a life with the good news of God’s love. Live like there’s no tomorrow, and make the best of today… and may the force be with you. Always.