It was a calm and sunny, spring day. A family drove their silver Jeep Cherokee down the interstate. The husband and driver, Bob, reached over and tenderly placed a hand over his wife’s slightly swollen belly as she smiled lovingly over at him. As he concentrated back on the road, the wife glanced backward at their two-year old daughter in the back seat, babbling away as she played with the stuffed animal she held between her delicate chubby fingers.
Bob turned a corner, prepared to bring his family to their destination for the weekend. But suddenly, out of nowhere, a drunk pickup truck driver lost control of his F-150, instantly killing all four passengers of the silver Jeep…
A half hour later, as the ambulance, firefighters, and policeman gather around the broken vehicle, they discover the dead members of the delicate family, so once full of life and happiness and love.
2 February 2018
Over New Year’s weekend, I attended a relative’s funeral, someone I had known and cared about. Doing so, I witnessed a part of the funeral preparations, and the one aspect of it that really stuck with me the most was the obituary part of it. The funeral home had sent a single sheet of paper for the family to fill out – which included the basic information of the now deceased relative such as birth date, birth place, children, grandchildren, etc. And then, at the very bottom, it had given 2-3 blank lines to fill out for the person’s hobbies, interests, and a bit of info on their life. 2-3 lines.
2-3 LINES????!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
Sometimes, when my husband and I are sitting in church together, or even when we’re in the living room sitting together with the cats where I’m catching up on writing and he’s playing video games – I look over and really look at him. I mean, really look at him. I’m planning on spending on the rest of my life with him, grow old with him, one day raise kids with him – all that. But what if God has other plans? What if my life, or, I should say our life, is as fleeting and short as the children and couple of the true life story above? When my uncle Jerome was 23, he must have assumed that he was going to live a long life – but no, he was lost in the waters of Costa Rica. When my sister Kayla was two, my amazing parents probably thought that she was going to one day to grow up to be a beautiful young woman who would one day get married and have children. But no, instead she didn’t even reach age three before our good Lord took her to be with Him.
When you see an obituary, you don’t see a long life. You see a brief bio about that person’s life – anywhere from three to five paragraphs long. Life is but a fleeting shadow, and it must be cherished. You might know somebody and think, Oh, she was such a sweet person. But what kind of unique sweetness did that person have? What was it about them that made them sweet? He had the craziest sense of humor. Well, everybody does, really. What was it about this person’s sense of humor that made it special? Are you seeing what I mean? A family sees the meaning and the wonderful relative’s life within an obituary, but a stranger only sees a life. I like the kind of obituaries that are a newspaper’s page long that really depict at least a bigger taste of that person’s life. But still, it’s just a taste. Therefore, what kind of legacy are we trying to leave behind in the now?
Doesn’t it scare you that your life could end out of the blue and we won’t be ready? And it scares me also that, even though I know where I’m gonna go in my eternity, the legacy I leave behind to strangers is unknown. Why should we care, you ask? Because we are loving and living our life right now, the only one God has given us, and people deserve to know how we lived our lives and what made it more unique and special than anyone else’s life.
That’s when it’s important to do two things to make yourself ready just in case it happens tomorrow: plan your funeral; and make yourself right with God.
Planning your funeral may sound morbid, but if you really think about how short life can be, especially since tomorrow is never guaranteed, then doing so is a good plan. What if your family planned something you wouldn’t have wanted? Granted, you’re not around by then, but wouldn’t you want it planned your way instead of a way they think you would’ve wanted? Perhaps you may even be disappointed if you knew what they were planning. In fact, my late uncle Jerome planned his funeral before he went on his mission trip, and his family actually used it for his actual funeral.
Secondly, making your life right with God is most important. Read Acts 2:38. Baptism is essential for salvation. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins in true repentance toward God. Confess to the ones surrounding you prior to being baptized that Jesus is the Lord of your life. Immerse yourself in the water, and be cleansed into a new creature, buried into Christ and wash your sins away. This simple rule from the Bible brings you into eternal life. Then, attend church regularly and try your hardest to live a life pleasing to God. Trusting in God after that will bring such peace and joy to your life, in a way the world will never provide.
Finally, make sure that you leave behind a life that your relatives will be talking about for years. Where it won’t be a simple burial of your body and moving on. Leave behind a life that brings happiness and love to others. At my funeral, I want people to come up to the front and talk about good times that were spent with me, and funny things that I’ve done or said. Best of all, it’ll be a celebration of life, because I’m finally with the Lord and my sister Kayla, and that makes the whole life journey all the more worthwhile.
Take care, everyone and I hope you all will at least think of my advice 🙂 You never know, it could change your life for the better. Comment if you have questions 🙂 have a good February!