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How to Live Your Life Backwards

Woman reading magazine about living life backwards.

How can you live your life backwards?

The next time you pick up a magazine at the supermarket checkout counter, notice how you begin flipping through the pages. Observe how other shoppers do the same.

Chances are you and the other shoppers’ glance at the front cover, the back cover, and begin flipping through the pages from the back to the front of the magazine. This is why advertisers pay a premium for ad space on the inside back cover.

Imagine You Are on a Cover Photo

Imagine you picked up a magazine one day, and it had your picture on the covers and your life story on the inside. Picture yourself opening the magazine and flipping the pages from the back to the front.

What would you see on the inside back cover and the last page? You have no idea, do you?

We are so used to living our lives looking forward, we give little, if any thought, to what the end of our life story will be, looking backward from its end, from the last page of our life.

Peek at the back page of your life’s magazine.

When we’re born, our story has already been written by God. Our life story unfolds before us based on the table of contents he established.

Wouldn’t you like to open your life’s book and peek at the end, a conclusion based on the way you lived your life? What would you want someone giving a eulogy at your funeral to say about how you lived?

It’s important we live our lives looking forward, establishing goals for ourselves and pursuing those goals. And none of us can describe with certainty what the later years will look like, and the end of our lives will be.

Is it possible we can extrapolate to a certain degree what our later years will look like based on the way we live today? I believe we can.

The Choices We Make Today

It’s a given we cannot factor into our extrapolation all the unexpected twists and turns God has written into our story. But the choices we make each day affect our personal spheres of influence, including the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual domains of our lives.

These areas of influence are the more intimate areas that directly affect who we are, and over which we have the most control.

How we manage these areas of influence on a daily basis also affects our ability and authenticity in the public spheres of influence in which we operate daily. These are the financial, career, family, friendship, and leisure spheres in which we have influence.

More importantly, it affects the rest of our life, including our final days, hours, and minutes.

We Act Out the Story God Wrote

Finally, consider this. God has already penned our story. But each and every one of the millions of choices we make in our lives advances the story towards a predestined end of our story here on earth.

Would you make different choices for the rest of your life if you could peek at the back page of your life’s magazine, or the back cover which describes your eternal destiny? Are you ready to live your life backwards?

Additional reading:

Listen to God's Words

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Also read: Psalm 139:13-16, Matthew 6:34, James 4:14

In the Words of Others

“Forever is composed of now.” Emily Dickinson

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” Henry David Thoreau

“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” Albert Einstein

Think About It

  • Have you ever reviewed how you live, and how it could affect your final days? Did you make changes? Why?

  • Are there areas in your life in which you need to make changes that could positively affect your final days? Explain.

  • Judging by how you’ve lived so far, write an honest summary a eulogy a friend might give at your funeral. Write a eulogy based on how you plan on living going forward.


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