Death By Living

death by livingLife is a story. You are mortal. There was a time when you were not. There will be a time when you exit the stage of this life. The past is the fruit of providence and thousands of personal narratives that led to you. You did not choose where to set your feet. You did not choose when to enter the stage. You choose where to set them next. You choose what to do now that you are on stage. You walk across the wet concrete of time and shape the world with your life. And then you die. Spent. Spend it well.


This is the central theme of the whimsical romp through words and story that is N.D. Wilson’s latest book Death by Living. Wilson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His fiction (including Leepike Ridge and the 100 Cupboard Trilogy) are magical tales infused with suggestions of the divine and his non-fiction (including Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl) awakens us, often via the imagination, to the goodness, truth, and beauty of God and His creation.  Listen to Wilson, in his latest (and highly recommended book):

Life is a story.

Why do we die?

Because we live.

Why do we live?

Because our Maker opened His mouth and began to tell a story.[1]

If life is a story, how shall we live?

It isn’t complicated (just hard).

Take up your life and follow Him. [2]

Shall we die for ourselves or die for others?…

Living is the same thing as dying.

Living well is the same thing as dying for others.[3]

Wilson unpacks his central claim through the sharing of his own story, and through the sharing of the story of his grandparents—lives shaped by those who came before, little acts of kindness, and the providential hand of God.

It is a plea to gratitude. And a plea to live life on purpose:

Drink your wine.

Laugh from your gut.

Burden your moments with thankfulness.

Be as empty as you can be when the clock winds down.

Spend your life.

And if time is a river, may you leave a wake.[4]

To this I say a hearty amen. May we all cultivate gratitude for the gift of this life. May we all live in such a way that we leave a wake for those who come after to find safety, peace, and joy in the creator.

Click here to watch the book trailer:












[1] N.D. Wilson, Death By Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013), 80-81.

[2] Ibid., 83.

[3] Ibid., 83-84.

[4] Ibid., 117.

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