June 29, 2009
For some reason, I was reading the obituary and funeral announcements the other day. With no disrespect to the men and women mentioned there, I did make a few interesting observations.
First, many of those honored apparently did not want their age mentioned. One lady was cited as “vibrant, ageless and immortal” and they only listed the date of her death. Another woman was 81 years old but the picture her family used in the article showed her at about 18 years old. Several others just mentioned how long someone lived in their town.
A second interesting observation was how the person was remembered. One was called “lucky in life, lucky in love, lucky until the date above.” Another was honored because “he was active in bowling…” And another was remembered “…as the violet lady.” Only one person was honored for their spiritual impact on their community.
And how they wanted to be honored in death was also interesting. Gifts were requested for various charities, the animal shelter, the Cherokee National Historical Society, the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation, but only one church ministry was even mentioned.
All of this got me to thinking about how maybe you and I ought to write our own obituary. We should sit down now and carefully consider what we would like to have mentioned about us once we head home to be with the Lord. What areas of ministry were we known for? Where did we spend our time? Where did we invest our resources? Who benefited by our service and compassion? What ministries were blessed by our involvement? Bottom line: where and how did we start “laying up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can corrupt…?” (Matt. 6:20)?
But it might be that if we started writing that obituary today, we might not have a great deal of data to convey. So maybe we need to begin this week with an eye on our demise. Start thinking about what you would like to be remembered for…consider what ministries you would like to invest in…begin serving others now in the manner you want to be remembered.
If you are worried about living a long life, ask the Lord to bless you as He did Abraham in Gen. 15:15, “And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace, you shall be buried at a good old age.” If you are concerned about what distinctive you will be remember by, consider Balaam’s comment about Jacob”…let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” (Num. 23:10).
You see, the death of the righteous is celebrated in heaven. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15). So start thinking about how you want to be honored. Wouldn’t it be great to hear those incredible words from our Savior, “…well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25 23).
Warmest regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools