What Would You Do Differently if You Knew This Was Your Last Day? What Luther, Wesley, and Assisi Have in Common

Here are three responses to the question of what one would do if they knew all would end in a day:

St. Francis of Assisi, hoeing his garden, was asked what he would do if he were suddenly to learn that he was to die at sunset that day. He said: “I would finish hoeing my garden.”

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my little apple tree and pay my debts.
—Martin Luther

A lady once asked John Wesley that suppose he were to know that he would die at 12:00 midnight tomorrow, how would he spend the intervening time. His reply: “Why madam, just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Rev. Martin’s house, who expects to entertain me, talk and pray with the family as usual, retire to my room at 10 o’clock, commend myself to my heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in Glory.”

The point is that they would all do what they had already set out to do, trusting that their daily plans accorded with God’s will; whether it’s Wesley’s preaching, Luther’s planting and settling of debts, or Assisi’s cultivating of his garden. Can we truly say that we have such confidence in the activities of our day?

© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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One comment on “What Would You Do Differently if You Knew This Was Your Last Day? What Luther, Wesley, and Assisi Have in Common
  1. Hi Rick,

    I just wrote an article about this topic after my pastor taught in Isaiah last week,and we were looking at King Hezekiah. I loved those quotes, and I pray to have confidence that my daily plans are in the will of God. Thanks for the write-up.

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