I was at a funeral a few weeks ago. We attended the same church but I had never interacted directly with him.
He had been diagnosed with a muscle degenerating disease and I only met him properly shortly after. In the months leading up to when he lost all motor control, speech and any ability to communicate, I marvelled at his stoic consistency & dedication.
I always watched him get wheeled in every sunday for the 9.15 service and on time too. After church he would nod and smile as people came over to say hi. In the last few weeks when he couldn’t smile or nod, his eyes glistened with all the hope and love you could imagine. My emotions gradually changed from that of great joy at seeing him stay consistent and faithful in his worship and determination to be with his fellow brethren in Christ to one of great pain in the last few weeks when I realised how much pain he must have been in – to be in a world with so much noise and activity around you and yet be unable to make use of any available means to communicate. I kept trying to imagine being completely unable to let others know how you feel – unable to point, nod, write, speak …. Yet he was in Church every single Sunday, right to the last one before he passed away. His faithfulness touched my heart and life in more ways than one.
At his Funeral, the Vicar in charge talked about how he went to read the bible to him in Hospice in the last few days and how after each passage, he eyes would beg for more. He kept asking for more! more of the scripture … it was obvious he took great delight in having the words read to him. Other loved ones spoke about his life and it occurred to me how there was so much good he was known for and would now be remembered for. I realised we could only genuinely remember him for those things because that was what his day-to-day life was made up of anyway. His dedication, commitment and love for God weren’t habits he picked up when he was diagnosed with a deadly disease or when it was convenient.
It was his WAY of life.
As I drove back home that day I pondered over what I wanted to be remembered for and wondered if any of those things were habits or characteristics I was displaying now…. i bet you know the answer to that!
We all do that don’t we? We have a nice list of things we want to be remembered for but our lives do not mirror those things. This could be for a number of reasons;
- we are too busy,
- we are waiting to have children,
- waiting for them to grow older,
- waiting to have more money,
- better job,
- waiting for the right timing get more committed in God’s house
- or to giving back…. the list is endless!
Until that funeral service, most of those
excuses reasons up there were legitimate and real excuses (oops, again!), for why we do not ‘do‘ or ‘start’ the things we really want to be remembered for. But I learnt something new, what you want to be remembered for is not only about how you ‘end’ your life but how you ‘live’ your life.
So do a self test today…If you had no chance to change anything about your life;
would you there be anything memorable that you would be remembered for ( by your family, children, colleagues)?
Would the things you would remembered for ( if any) be the things you want to be remembered for?
If not, then that is really something to think about isn’t it?
Think about it, how many of us wake up in the morning with a plan to go to work but get to the bus stop and hop on a bus going in the opposite direction?
eh? Nah, didn’t think so…
whatever the case, you would still BE ON YOUR WAY TO WORK!
Something that would never happen if you kept hopping on a bus going in the opposite direction from your office.
In the same way, why don’t we BEGIN to live our lives the way we want it to be at the end?
Its okay if there are set backs en-route but at least you would still be on track… There is never a right/perfect time… the journey of a thousand steps begins not with the first step but in facing the right direction... and then taking the first step.
My dear friend was taken away by a deadly disease but every day we live is one day closer to the day we die…
So live now ( as you ought) because there is no other time to do so…