If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d pray for guidance. I’d thank the Lord often for everything. And I’d ask Him to help me worry less. Better yet, to worry not at all.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d visit friends. I’d call them up and agree on a time. I’d sit, and listen, and sip on a tea. And tell them with all the gentle love I could muster what was really on my mind.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d visit former friends. I’d sit, listen, and smile. Maybe I could disarm them. Maybe not. I don’t really know what that would take. Maybe I’d tell them of my own failings. And my longing for things to have been different between us. Maybe they would speak to me. Maybe not. Maybe they would listen and smile in return. And if not, that would be okay. I will have tried to make amends.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d write a lot. I would turn at least some of my ambitious projects into fleshed out realities. And then post them somewhere for others to read; publish them for others to have access to. I have things I really want to say, and much of it needs to be in writing.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d take one trip somewhere with my wife. Some place we’d both like to see. Somewhere far away. Somewhere beautiful. A chance to remind us of the blessings of this life we’ve shared together, as well as the better world to come that we’ll share on some distant day.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d speak to my own children often. But first, I’d listen to them. Pray for them. And tell them I love them.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d speak to my own remaining siblings, my two sisters. I’d listen too, and hear what they were feeling and thinking. Maybe I’d seek out a few old friends and relatives as well.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d play five more rounds of golf and not worry about what others thought about my game. I would play the freest golf of my life and truly enjoy every minute of it, with thanksgiving. I’d be the best of playing partners for whomever I got to play with.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d preach a few more times. I’d accept whatever open doors the Lord would give me. I’d preach more from my heart than ever before and probably not worry so much about how polished my outline was or whether or not I bled every ounce of meaning from the text. I’m confident they’d be some of the best sermons of my life. Not necessarily for their astute content or theological depth, though I trust some of that would be there; and not even for their complete grammatical correctness. But more for their simplicity, sincerity, and urgency.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d worship with all of my strength in the presence of other saints, especially the ones I’ve grown to cherish. I’d visit some other churches too, and soak in their worship of our great God.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d touch people a lot. I’d hug my wife and family as much as I could. I’d touch and hug others too, with propriety, of course. I’d especially hug the children in my life and not worry what others thought about it.
If I had a year, and not an hour more, I’d spend a month at a cottage on a quiet coast. I’d have a few good books to read, and my Bible. It would have a fireplace and I would use it, even in the summer. I’d bike and hike the trails in the woods. I’d paddle in the early morning hours when the mist was still on the water and listen to the loons. I’d laugh at the squawking gulls squabbling over scraps on the rocky shore.
That’s what I’d do if I had a year, and not an hour more.