Friday, February 29, 2008

Measure of a Life

I've been thinking today about my funeral.

Not that I'm planning on needing one anytime soon.

But my man and I went to a memorial "celebration" today. And as such occasions usually do, it caused me to reflect on how my life might be summed up --- and how I would want it to be.

Let me be clear that I do not stand in judgment of anyone's relationship with God. Only God knows whether the man who died trusted Him for salvation. But the Bible does say in Matthew 7 that "by their fruit you shall know them." And while these verses are specifically addressing the issue of false prophets, the principle applies to all believers.

The man who died was clearly a "good" man by all indications given. (I did not know him personally.) He had strong work ethics and many friends and a loving family. But references to God and salvation were noticeably absent. The theme seemed to be "Eat, drink & be merry and enjoy the ride." And so, for me, this was no celebration, and I left saddened, heavy-hearted, and with a renewed resolve.

I want to be remembered for more than just good times with a beer on a boat. I want my kids to say I taught them about Jesus. I want it to be obvious that I served the Lord. I don't want my life to be summed up with a phrase from a Beatles, Jimmy Buffett, or BeeGees song. I don't want the final words at my funeral to be "Hook 'em Horns," "Gig 'Em Aggies" or any other trite slogan.

I want it to be evident to all that He is the reason for all I am and all I do, and that without Him, life has no meaning. And I want my family to be comforted by God's love and know that I am in His eternal presence, not hovering around them as some suspended, surreal, spirit.

Oh Lord, bless this grieving family. Help them to seek You as their source of true comfort. Remind us of the brevity of life and the importance of making each day count for You.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20-21

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Xandra said...

This is something that we were just discussing in the past week. A dear friend of mine lost an uncle who was not saved, and his grief has been palpable. He is a Christian, and his knowledge of where is uncle is spending eternity is very difficult to bear.

My husband and I have had this very discussion about life being about more than where you went to school and how you spent your free time. It made me re-evaluate my own witness, and how important it is for me to get past my own insecurities and just tell it! I don't want to grieve because I was too uncomfortable to bring up the subject of Jesus for fear of rejection.

Great post and one that many (including myself) need to take to heart!


Xandra said...

BTW, I just noticed the Scabble link on your really are hardcore! LOL!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I think of this when I read the obituaries (which is a really macabre habit of mine). I scan the details to see if there is any evidence they might be in heaven. Often, I sadly assume not. But then I will read one that says something like "Oh January 29, Bertha left this world and danced straight into the arms of the Loving Savior she was so excited to see" and then I just blubber all over my coffee.

I want my obituary to be just as blubberful.

Precious in the sight of the Lord are the deaths of his saints!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

"I want it to be evident to all that He is the reason for all I am and all I do, and that without Him, life has no meaning."

me too Linda!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

PS -

Hook 'em Horns = trite??

Gig 'em Aggies, yes. Hook 'em Horns, well, it's not the gospel, but it's #2 on the list...


Becoming Me said...

Lovely post.

Blessed said...

How True! We've had three funerals in the family this year - one celebration and two others that were not a celebration - those are always the hardest.

Thanks for stopping by my blog - I've been visiting yours for a couple of weeks now.

Lisa Brown - Vintage Sweet Peas said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and so glad I stumbled upon you!

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister. I have been thinking about my "legacy" a lot lately. Congratulations on your lead in the Scrabble war so far!


Linda said...

I think about dying every single day. Not so much in a macabre way, but in a reflective way. And yes, I have preplanned the funeral (not formally) but right on my blog! Eternity is just a moment away, a heartbeat away, for each of us. In 80 years, none of us will be here. It's good to know to
Whom you belong.

The Preacher's Wife said...

Whether I'm 37 or 97 when I die, I have given explicit instructions for Third Day's 'Medley' to be my funeral music followed by some cranked up Toby Mac. There will be a haunting take place if there isn't some celebration taking place at my home-going! :)

The Preacher's Wife said...

and btw - you totally need to cut sister some slack in the scrabble war. lay off them 'x's' how about it? she's an imb missionary for pete's sake! :))


Lisa writes... said...

To live is Christ, but to die? There's the GAIN! I pray my legacy may be summed up in one word: JESUS. At the end of my life, I want others to say: "That girl loved Jesus with her life."

Mel's World said...

I am SO with you on this. It is hard to celebrate when at the end you can't say you lived your life completely SOLD OUT to Him. I want my kids, my friends, my family, and anyone who meets me to know that the only reason I live is to serve Him, and when I get to go home I want it to be a Big Ole Party saying "she's finally home and God's finally tired of hearing her prayers from SO far away". Ha!