Monday, June 1, 2009

Living to Die

Some who read this will be familiar with the name Bill "Tiny" Bateman. He's a big guy with a big heart...literally. Six years ago, Tiny was diagnosed with a form of cardiomyopathy. In laymen's terms that means that the tissue in his heart is inflamed, thus enlarging his heart. In fact, at the time of his diagnosis, the doctors said it was the size of Football. The immediate prognosis wasn't good. Left untreated, he would have three to six months to live; with treatment he would have a year or so. It appears that in Tiny's case the "or so" is a pretty long period of time. The only problem is that once he entered into that phase of the diagnosis, he basically found himself waking up wondering if the day before him would be his last. Tiny would be the first to tell you that the prayers of many people have helped him get to where he is today.

Tiny recently crossed paths with an old friend who had not heard about his diminishing health. After hearing his story, she commented, "It must be hard knowing that at any moment you could die." The response she received was quite contrary.

Tiny has the perspective that as a believer in Jesus Christ death is the final step in fulfilling his purpose in life here on Earth. But he also knows that each day is another opportunity to live life to the fullest. He embodies the phrase, "I'm a winner either way, if I go or if I stay." If you know Tiny, you know that he's a joy to be around. He really does live each day as if it's his last. So his response may or may not surprise you. He basically said, "Shoot no! Why would I dread the moment I've lived my whole life for?" Now that will stop you in your tracks! And it should make you think. What am I living my life for?

In a culture of multi-tasking and over-filled schedules, many of us often put our head on the pillow at night and think, "What just happened?" The day is barely a memory because we didn't create anything to remember. We just scratched off our list and finished another day. Don't get me wrong; I'm a list-maker myself. But I learned a long time ago that if I didn't control my list, my list would control me.

Job 33:4 says, "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." God wants us to use the life He's given us to know Him and show others the difference He's had on our lives. When we fully embrace this concept, we will begin to see the opportunities already around us to make each day a memory worth keeping. The challenge is to not allow our “To-Do” list to control us to the point that we miss out on the opportunities we have to make an impact for the One who gives us each day to live for Him.


  1. This is your best post yet. Thank you for sharing Tiny's story. What an inspiration.

    Blessings and prayers, andrea

  2. Very Wise Words. Just proof that everything that ever happens to us is for giving glory to God.

  3. Thank you for such a great post Dwayne! Every word is so true of Tiny. We are getting ready to spend a week with the Batemans at Ocean Lakes. We always treasure every moment we have with he and his family.