Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Will You Be Remembered For?

If it hasn't happened yet, there will come a time when you gather together with family and friends after a funeral service and reminisce about someone who has just died. Often the discussion starts out with the retelling of an incident familiar to many of those in attendance. Heads nod and people smile as they muse over the incident, recalling what it means to them. Then the discussion tends toward the personal, with each in turn recounting how he or she remembers the departed in some one-on-one situation.

Sometimes I picture how the conversation will go after I am gone. A few beers will be raised, and a soft voice will break through with a hymn of praise. Well, actually, that will probably not happen as I am not really known for my hymn-singing prowess. Still, it would be a nice way to be remembered.

More likely, someone, probably a family member, will offer some holiday yarns about how I embarrassed myself. Depending on the age of the teller and the power of recollection, these stories may go on for three or four beers.

Once these tales have been told, it would be my wish for someone to recount how I was kind to them. It would also be very nice to be remembered as a man who walked his talk -- who did what he said he would. I would also hope my children will comment on how good a dad I was. I would like to have someone share a story about how I really loved God and witnessed to Him with my life.

As a man, it's easy to get caught in the trap of wanting to be remembered for one's money, achievements, or even position. Isn't it evident, however, that even those things -- wealth, accomplishments, respect -- while noteworthy and marking us as a certain kind of man still don't provide the whole story?

In the long run, the most significant thing we will pass on to the next generation (and be remembered for) will be our love of God. It's that attribute that should permeate all we say and do as children of God.

So, if there is one thing I want said at my funeral other than "Look! He's still alive!" it would be "He was a faithful follower of Christ."

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