Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Lessons from Obituaries

This morning, my husband came home with the local paper and told me that one of the barbers that used to cut his hair (especially when he was in high school) had passed away.  The man was only 68 years old!  I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem very old to me.   He worked in a simple shop with 2 other barbers and they became somewhat of a local landmark in the community.   Any fellow who has been around this area for any length of time would know this man and probably be able to recall stories he had heard at the shop or memories of these 3 men literally "cutting up". 

We who are touched by some one's passing realize that one day, our appointment with death must be kept as well.  The Bible tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die... then the judgment!  

What have we done in life that will last when our names have faded from the memories of those who once cherished us in future generations? It makes us sit back and think how our lives are but a vapor!  No matter how long we live, will we ever feel that it has been long enough?  Ask our 96 year old Grandma and she'll tell you there's still things she wants to live to see... and she's been around for almost a century!

In my 34 yrs. of life, I have noticed that death is not a respecter of persons or age.  I have seen babies die, children die, teenagers die, young adults die,  middle aged adults die, and seniors/elderly die.

As I sat there reading the obituaries, it also reflected a variety of ages... a 30 yr. old, a 74 yr old., some in their 60's, etc.    What stuck out to me, though, was the way they (the obit's) seemed to condense an entire life into 2-3 paragraphs.  Wow.  The things that were mentioned in some were almost laughable... in 2 or 3, they were noted as being devoted Chiefs fans, earning this or that fan status... never missing more than 3 home games in 30+ years.  I know we are in Chiefs territory, but that was a bit over the edge for me.  Even though that is idolized by some, in the realm of eternity... what does that matter?  Is that REALLY how someone would want to be remembered... for their devotion to a football franchise who never appreciated them, loved them, and probably cost them countless hours away from their families... kept them out of church services...and not to mention the chunk of money out of their hard earned pay checks?????  Yeah, right.  

And BTW- how many Christians' write-ups would say "Never missed more than 3 church services in 30+ years"  or "Was a devoted fan and follower of Jesus Christ"?

So,  how do you think people would summarize you if you were gone today?  We have no guarantee of tomorrow, folks, so this IS worth thinking about!  What would you like to be known for?  What kinds of things have you invested most of your life into?  What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? 

We are all a part of history in the making.  What will be said about you is being determined right now.  If you don't know what would be said about you, then ask your co-workers, friends, family, or children.  They would have a good idea- and may be the ones who would write about you anyway if something happened to you.     THEN- ask yourself if that's the kind of person you want to be... and if those things are the kinds of things you would want to be remembered for. 

This also makes me think about family trees and how most of the information given is simply:  date of birth, date of marriage, and date of death!  We are more than just names and dates on a log of genealogy!  WHO are we and what kind of impact are we making on the world around us?

Simple lessons from stark reality today.   I challenge each and every one of you to get a paper and read the obituaries and see if God doesn't speak something to YOU!

And remember to live each day as if it could be your last... because it could very well be! The Word also tells us that no one is guaranteed anything beyond today.  Make every day count and don't put off till tomorrow what you should be taking care of today.

May the Lord bless you today, friend, with a life that will speak of a righteous legacy; one that will bring Him glory, bless your descendants, and give you jewels in your crown!

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