I recently watched a video on Facebook, and the takeaway message deeply impacted me. Unfortunately I didn't save it, so I'm unable to give credit to whom it is due ... but it was titled: 'How long will you be remembered after you die?' I've modified it a little as I don't remember all of the details. I also acknowledge that this is NOT true in many instances, but it is still food for thought. The gist of the story goes something like this:
When you die, many people will attend your funeral: family, friends, colleagues and general acquaintances. Their grief would be evident and they would share from their hearts, all of the wonderful memories they had of you. These are genuine and sincere and if you were looking down from heaven, you would be deeply touched at the beautiful speeches everyone made about you.
After the funeral (that lasts up to an hour), your family would provide an obligatory meal for the guests. So as not to prolong the grief and agony of the family, the topic of conversation would quickly move from you ... to economics, politics and other worldly concerns. The attending guests who had flown in for your funeral, would plan their trips home and go back to their lives with their own families.
Family members would begin to squabble over your estate, your possessions, your last wishes. They'd fight over who deserves more 'payout' because they put in the extra effort developing relationship with you; they house-sat when you went on holiday; they helped you through a traumatic event; they loaned you money when you needed it. Your death, instead of bringing members closer, created rifts that weren't there before - or else they were there, merely seething under the surface. People's hearts and true-colors get revealed.
Over time, people adapt to living without you. You are acknowledged at anniversaries and on special holidays ... but life goes on for everyone. They go back to their jobs; they get married; they laugh; they live; they continue to muddle through all the personal issues they had before you died. Your spouse realizes that there's nothing he/she can do about the loss and they too start smiling, laughing and living again. They have to. Your children start their own families and your past existence is relegated to a picture on a mantle piece.
At the one year anniversary of your death, there may be a memorial commemorating your life. But everything is different.
The takeaway message: We live our lives trying to please others; we worry about what they may think about us; their acceptance of us is a priority to us; their opinions keep us from living our best lives. We change who we are, to please others. Yet looking at the above possible scenario makes that all a waste of our precious (and limited) time on earth.
At the end of the day, as you stand before your Creator, you have to account for what you did with what He gave you. The question is not: 'did I please everyone in my life?' It should be: 'did I please God? Did I fulfil the Scroll that he wrote for me before one of my days came to be?'
Have we neglected our most important mission because we feared what others thought?
This is a sobering thought to ponder. It's one that has made me stop to examine myself for anywhere that I fall into this pattern of fearing man.
My only aims in life should be:
to please the One who created me;
to fulfil the purpose for which He sent me;
to run my race faithfully, sewing my piece into the tapestry of God's plan;
to leave a Godly inheritance of blessing for my future generations;
to hear the words: 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Share in your Master's joy'.
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