Funerals! I have attended a lot of funerals lately. It is an almost continual reminder to me that we are always headed out of this life and into the next, which the Bible teaches is eternal! A few weeks ago, I was reading “Crazy Love!” by Francis Chan and he hit me with this thought: Have you ever noticed how really good and special the dead are made to sound at most funerals.
Preacher Talk! We preachers get up and focus on their positive qualities and if we are honest, sometimes accentuate and even puff up the positive, while ignoring the negative. We usually end up making people sound much better than they really were! The funerals that I love to share at, are the ones where I just get to tell it like it is and it is all positive, because the person had experienced God’s love and it changed their life and so they were able to express that love back to God and others with a life that had been changed from the inside – out!
It all got me to thinking about that poem by Linda Ellis – How Do You Live Your Dash!
“I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning… to the end. He noted that first came her date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. (1934-1998)
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth… and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we won; the cars…the house…the cash, what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.. are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never done before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile. Remembering that this special dash might only last a while.
So, when your eulogy’s being read with your life’s actions to rehash… would you be proud of the things they said about how you spent your dash?”
A Different Life! How would our lives be different – if we really got up every day determined to make our dash count? How would our lives be different – if we worked to live a life that made the job of the preacher of our funeral easy? I don’t want anyone to have to make up anything or exaggerate at my funeral! I want to live a life that honors and brings glory to God! I want to love the One Who love me! I want to experience His crazy and amazing love and I want to express His crazy and amazing love through the living of my life! I’ve got some work to do! See ya!