If you were dying and you had one last chance to talk with the people that matter most to you, what would you say? If everything was on the line, and nothing was left on the table, what wisdom would you impart?
Back in 2007, professor Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University learned that he was dying from pancreatic cancer. Taking on a tradition held by academics, he delivered “one last lecture” to a group of about 400 colleagues and students.
My name is Ray Majoran, and this book is my last lecture.
If you know me or have known me at all, much of “who I am” is in this book. Conversely, if you’ve never known me, thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope and pray that it will be of benefit to you.
I have itemized this book into three parts. The first part is my case for God and Jesus. You may be a complete atheist or want nothing to do with the church. Please allow me to state my case. You may want to close the book after the opening paragraph of Part 1, but please don’t.
The second part is specifically directed to people who call themselves Christians. Of course, I would encourage you “to read it whether you call yourself a Christian or not. Again, my hope is that all who read this book will be challenged.
The final section of the book contains some of my life experiences. Hopefully you can learn from, and be inspired by, some of the things that God has walked me through.
So thinking back to the original question: If I were dying and had one last chance to talk with the people that matter most to me, what would I say?
You are the people who matter most to me and I’ve been pondering that question for my entire adult life.
Am I dying?
And you are too.
A thought-provoking letter to the world
Let me just start by commending you for writing such a passionate and personal book. It really challenged me; it forced me to think long and hard about my own answer to the question: "If you had one last chance to talk with the people that matter most to you, what would you say?" I'm still wrestling with my response, though I think it would sound very similar to yours.
I loved your use of story. The anecdotes from your personal life were a powerful witness to God's transforming grace. They reminded me that God continues to touch people in the most remarkable ways, and that we don't live in a world that's had the supernatural sucked out of it — God is on the move.
I loved your use of Scripture. The Bible is the most important book in my life, and it continues to shape me in profound ways. Somehow, it never grows old. The fact that you relied so heavily on Scripture made me really happy. God's wisdom trumps our own, and as an author you modeled that conviction so well.
I loved the chapter in which you addressed the church. All I could do was pray and hope that the biblical vision you cast would be embraced by all who read your book. Thank you for loving us (the church) enough to tell us the truth, Ray.
When I was younger, one of my mentors would often say that the most powerful apologetic is a well-lived life. Your book is a beautiful expression of that reality. I could trust that every word on every page was coming from a place of genuine love and concern, because I've watched you live your life with great integrity. You are a blessing to me, brother. It's an honor to be your friend.