Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

My brother shared this video with me recently, and I thought it would be worthwhile to share with you. To me, it contains many reminders about the important stuff in life. In the academic tradition, there's an idea called the "last lecture." Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die, and had one lecture you could give, what would it be. This professor, Randy Pausch gave this lecture in a concise form on Oprah. And the irony is that it really will be among his last lectures. He has pancreatic cancer, and he is dying.

Just to preface the video, I'm personally not a huge fan of oprah. Also, for whatever reason, Dr. Pausch didn't speak on spirituality or religion during this talk. In spite of these critiques, I found the video chock full of life lessons, and I think it's worth sharing for the lessons he does share that are great reminders of the important things in life.

Over the last year, I've witnessed many events that have reminded me of the brevity and fragility of life. Just this week, my sister told me that her husband's brother was found dead in his house.

As I watched this video, and thought about my own life, I realized that there are a number of things that are real priorities in my life. Of course, my relationship with Christ, and the truth that He is the hope of the world is number one! But what I tell people about my relationship with Christ by the way He enables me to live is right up there too--I want Him to be made manifest not only in what I profess, but how I live. (I truly pray that people see those priorities too!) I think everyone who has put their faith in Jesus should have those priorities. I don't plan on dying anytime soon or anything like that and I hope you don't either. At the same time, I also understand our life on this earth is just a vapor--just a blip on the screen compared to eternity. I want this blip to count! I know that there is something amazing in store for me after this life, but I think that in light of eternity, we are to live this life very intentionally, taking time to be a sign and a reflection of the world to come.

In the spirit of reflection, take some time today to consider what you would share with your family and friends or even the world if you had one "last lecture" to give. Are there changes you want to make, or priorities you want to shift? Don't wait. Take action. Make the most of every moment. We have a limited number of days and hours. Don't waste them.

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