Friday, August 26, 2011

What WIll They Say When I Die?

Have you ever thought what people who stand up at your funeral will say when you die? Obviously you won't be around to hear it. I have actually been at funerals where the good preacher shared a list of wonderful virtues of the deceased. In the audience, though, were puzzled looks, smirks, and even some laughing. Those who knew the good old boy who was being talked about him knew him far better than the preacher. And those words he was saying did not fit their friend at all. It was kind of sad.

I once was asked to do a funeral for a guy I did not know. I met with the family and asked for them to share some about their husband and father. Nothing! People looked down, other up at the ceiling, away from me. Finally, after my frustrated prodding, one son spoke up and said, "You want to know about him? He was a horrible father and a horrible husband. All he did was fish and drink. He was a no good %&*#@. Wow, I didn't see that coming.

Think about it. If you were to pick five words that people would use to describe you when you have breathed your last breath, what would they be? Funny? Nice? Good golfer? Creative? Always had nice hair? Had a mind of his own (meaning stubborn)? Would those be words they would use? If you were brutally truthful, might they avoid words like: Humble? Servant? Lover of Jesus? Most caring and loving man I knew? His faith was unshakable?

Many of us older people think about these things. At least I do. And to be frank, there are a few great words that I have to admit might not be on the list at my memorial service. And that disturbs me. But wait. It's not too late. God is in the restoration business. It's never too late to be that person you want to be and God is calling you to be. We still have time. But the clock is ticking. Are you bold enough to ask God to re-invent you? I am.

Let's hope we don't live up to that old funeral joke where the preacher is sharing the virtues of the deceased and one of the attendees interrupts the serve and wanders up to the casket to look inside. When asked by the preacher what he was doing, the guy says, "After hearing you describe him, I had to come up and make sure I was at the right funeral." May it not be so with us.