Who will I miss, how have I spent my life, and am I ready for what happens next? ~Philip Yancey
CNN: In your book, you say your near-death experience forced you to think of three questions: Who will I miss, how have I spent my life, and am I ready for what happens next? Are those questions still guiding your approach to life?
Yancey: I would like to report that I have since reordered my life around those three questions, but let’s be honest, many days it’s all I can do to answer email and check items off my to-do list. The ultimate questions get pushed aside.
I have made a deliberate effort, though, to spend time reflecting on those issues. I begin each day with a time of prayer and meditation, and ask myself how the tasks that await me that day stack up against those three questions.
Also, I have an enduring sense of gratitude—for life, for beauty, for simple things I used to take for granted. Two years after my accident my brother had a stroke, and I’m reminded constantly of what he can no longer do: walk without a cane, use his right hand on a computer keypad. I faced the possibility of permanent paralysis from my broken neck; how different my life would be.