“O Lord, let me know my end and the number of days left to me; show me how fleeting my life is.” — Daily Meditations on the Psalms
Reflection: When time is limited, we prioritize and focus on what we should be doing. If we remain aware that our time on earth is quite limited, with God’s grace we will focus on doing what will make us saintly.
Quotes from How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of your Life by Pat Williams with Jim Denney:
“I believe that one of the most crucial traits Walt possessed was his awareness of the brevity of life. It gave him a sense of mission, purpose and urgency. It forced him to focus on his goals.
Most of us go through life pretending that death doesn’t apply to us. We avoid facing the fact that God has granted us a limited number of days, hours, seconds and heartbeats in which to accomplish our life’s work. When it’s over, it’s over, whether our work is done or not.
Jesus once told his disciples, ‘As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work’ (John 9:4 NIV). That was the mindset of Walt Disney. He knew that the night was coming. He lived with a sense of urgency.”
“Walt showed us how to face our mortality—and he taught us to accept it. The awareness of death forces us to think about what is truly important in life. The reality of death forces us to deal with the realities of living—our search for meaning, our need to express love and seek forgiveness, our need for God.”
“Walt built his own heaven and called it Disneyland. It was the happiest place on earth, and he was always happiest when he could be there…but God has set a dream in our hearts that is even bigger than anything Walt could imagine. God has set eternity in our hearts. He placed eternity in the heart of Walt Disney, and in your heart and mine…that longing for eternity is inside us all. We instinctively know that there is something about us that is truly immortal. We all long for something that we cannot have in this world. We catch glimpses of it every now and then—in an achingly beautiful sunset, or a perfect evening with close friends, or a day at Disneyland. But a glimpse is all it is. The sunset fades, the friends say goodnight, the park closes. We had something beautiful and perfect in our hands, but it slipped away. Heaven is a place where such moments go on forever and ever—but we can only reach heaven by dying.”
A quote from Life Lessons from the Monastery: Wisdom on Love, Prayer, Calling, & Commitment by Jerome Kodell, OSB:
“Our life is an arc of ascent and descent. And this is for our good, because the project of this life is to learn how to turn over control to the Creator so that we may have the interior freedom to leave this world in peace and be ready for new life with God. If we haven’t been able to surrender before our body starts breaking down, the gradual reduction of our abilities gives us a new opportunity before we die; if we have begun to surrender, the suffering and diminishment give us an opportunity for even deeper freedom from ego and self. We all have to die, but we have a choice whether to give our life or have it wrenched from us.”
May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.