I conduct a lot of funerals which means I spend a lot of time thinking about what to say concerning the way the deceased person led his/her life. Sometimes, it is a true celebration where the person’s life was filled with love, generosity, and compassion. Sometimes, it is a time of sadness where the person’s life was self consumed, miserly, and dismissive of others.
In fact, in planning one funeral, when I met with the family, I said, “I don’t know your aunt. Tell me something good about her life that I can say at the funeral.” Sadly, her nephew said, “Tom, if there was one good thing I could tell you about that bi… I would, but there’s nothing good to say.” The entire family agreed with his assessment of his aunt’s life.
What matters is not that we are remembered but how we are remembered. This is what makes the country music song by Rascal Flatts so meaningful. It is entitled: How They Will Remember You.
Here’s a portion of the song. I hope it is as meaningful to you as it is to me:
It wasn’t ’til I saw my daddy’s name in stone I knew
It ain’t a question of if they will
It’s how they remember you
Did you stand or did you fall?
Build a bridge or build a wall?
Hide your love or give it all?
What did you do? What did you do?
Did you make ’em laugh or make ’em cry?
Did you quit or did you try?
Live your dreams or let ’em die?
What did you choose? What did you choose?
When it all comes down
It ain’t if, it’s how they remember you
God wants you to live this wonderful life that he has given you to its fullest. Love with all you’ve got. Be willing to risk for what is right. Be intentional about caring for others. Lift up someone in need. Follow your dreams. Be remembered for being a person who truly lived.
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.“ (John 10:10)
Make sure on the day that your loved ones plan your funeral, they have something wonderful to tell the pastor. How you are remembered matters.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, let me live this day as if it was my last. Help me be a person of joy, compassion, peace, and love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Today, you have a opportunity to be remembered for good. Don’t let it pass you by.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.