“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:50-57.
Imagine if you could attend your own funeral. I don’t want you to freak out. Just bear with me and imagine that you are about to attend your own funeral. The funeral is held in a location large enough to seat all your friends, your family, your business associates, your neighbors, your college roommate, in fact, anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you.
The setting is solemn. The lighting is subdued. People are respectfully dressed. People are talking quietly in small cliques all over the room. Every foot of available space is filled with flowers and floral arrangements sent from friends and loved ones in love and sympathy. At the front of the room is a table, that includes several pictures of you with scented candles casting a glow on each photo. A memorial guest book is signed by all the people who came to pay their respects.
At the front of the room is a beautiful solid hardwood casket. The wood veneer is stunning. You are lying in the casket. But you are also in the audience as the service starts. Everywhere you look there are sad people wiping away their tears.
Key people in your life, close friends and family are given 3 minutes to speak whatever is on their heart. You pull out a pad of paper and are ready to take notes. You are wondering what they are going say. You have questions such as: What did they most appreciate about me? Or what did my life mean to them? What impact did it have? What are they missing or what have they lost when you passed?
Would you be satisfied with your answers? Would the answers suggest regret? Would the answers indicate that you didn’t live your life with the end in mind? Would you wish you had more time to heal old wounds? Did you contribute to the Kingdom? Did you love others as yourself? Were you giving?
We all will have some regrets or some things we wanted to do differently when we die. But the good news is that we can still change the outcome. You can take the steps necessary to begin shaping your eulogy—and the outcome of your life—now. It may mean healing old wounds with a relative. We may be to love more or be more generous. Whatever is required, it is worth the effort to contribute to the Kingdom of God by leading your life with the end in mind.
- Is it practical to focus on eternity rather than the here and now?
- How much does your life impact others?
- Our choices will determine where we end up. How have you seen good or bad choices influence where you are today? Why do you think you made those choices?
- Pray and ask God to help you live your life with the end in mind.