"The last thing I did was the most exciting thing ever!" he said.

I couldn't wait to hear what it was. "I can't imagine what you might have done--but whatever it was you must share it with me," I said.

I was visiting the senior center where I’m a regular volunteer, and I’d dropped in on this older gentleman from time to time. At this moment he looked at me with a somewhat surprised look on his face. We stared at each other, and I became a bit uncomfortable. Had I misunderstood what he said? Did he say something else, and had I insulted him?

"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I misunderstand you?" I finally said.

"What did I say?" he replied. Hmm, I thought, maybe he was having a senior moment.

"Didn't you just say, The last thing I did was the most exciting thing ever?" I repeated.

"Yes, I did."

"What was it? What was the most exciting thing ever?" I asked.

"Oh, I see," he replied. "You're waiting for me to tell you that I won something or accomplished some great thing, right?"

"Well, yes. Isn't that what you implied?" I asked.

"In a sense, yes. But permit me to clear things up," he said."You look like a healthy man--are you?" he asked.

"Basically. I mean I have problems, but nothing life-threatening that I know of."

"Then you might not understand this," he said. Then, placing his arm around my shoulder, he explained. "About a year ago I nearly died. I had a heart attack that almost ended my life. It was an experience that brought me to my knees and lifted me back up again. It was then that I really began to see how valuable every moment is in my life."

He stood in front of me, and placing his hands on my shoulders, said, "Every last thing I do is the most exciting thing I have ever done. It's one more moment, day, week, month past the day I almost died. To me, that's exciting!"

How very powerful that thought was. I have always believed that everyone should have a near-death experience so that they can appreciate life more. I confess I’ve never had one. But I have lived through something similar when my son and wife both had cancer. Nearly losing them certainly changed the way I look at life. That way when my last breath does finally come, I will go out seeing the real value of "the last thing I did."

Feeling down? Thinking you have nothing to be excited about in your life? Think again. Try appreciating life so very much that the last thing you did would be the most exciting thing you ever did.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad