"The clinical diagnosis is pancreatic cancer. His life expectancy is six months."
With those words, then 62 year old John Brandrick of Cornwall, England, decided to go out in style. He quit his job and stopped paying his mortgage. He emptied his savings account and sold all that he had (except the black suit in which he planned to be buried). He then spent every dollar (or, pound!) he had, enjoying expensive dining, entertainment and travel.
But as time went by, Brandrick's health didn't deteriorate as expected. A subsequent scan revealed that he didn't have cancer at all. "It was such a relief," Mr Brandrick said after hearing the news. "But that wrong diagnosis has left me in financial ruin."
Bankrupt and facing homelessness, Brandrick explored his legal options to sue for compensation for his financial demise resultant from the errant diagnosis.
Rather than living like we might die today, most of us live like we'll never die at all. It's this "wrong diagnosis" that leaves us ill prepared for what awaits us when we stand accountable to God for how we have chosen to live our lives.
"And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?" (Luke 12:18-20).
Don't suffer spiritual demise because you lived by an errant diagnosis.