I attended a funeral today, one of many that I’ve been to in my time. Of all the funerals I’ve been to, thankfully, none have been for anyone very close to me, they’ve all been for partners or parents of people I know. But they are never fun. I’m sure we can all agree on the fact that funerals are the opposite of fun. If anything, most funerals are depressing and morbid. But they are a part of life; at some point, everyone attends a funeral for someone they know, some (like myself) attend for people they don’t know, more being there to support the people left behind.
The funeral I attended today was for a lady that I knew from my neighbourhood growing up. She was more of an acquaintance to me; we’d say hello when we passed in the street and that was it. My mother knew her well and my Nan knew her well, which was how I ended up there. Nan wanted to go and I offered to take her, so I sat through the service with her. It was very much like every other funeral I’ve been to; people came to say a final farewell, memories and sweet moments were shared, condolences were given, tears were shed. The photos and tears shared spoke of a woman well-loved and a life enjoyed. It was also a time of reflection and a stark reminder of the how fleeting life really is. A reminder that death doesn’t discriminate; eventually it comes knocking on everyone’s door.
Death is the great leveler because it’s the one thing in life none of us can escape. Death looks us all in the eye and says, “doesn’t matter how rich or poor, how good or bad, how successful or liked you may be, one day, I’m coming for you”. It’s inevitable, and all the research for eternal youth or prolonged life won’t make a difference because the fact is, we will all die one day. That’s not a scary thought for me, it really isn’t. When my time is up, it’s up. For me, death is just the end of the physical life and the beginning of the spiritual eternity with Jesus. It’s a cross over from earth to Heaven and truthfully, that’s a trade-off I’m happy to make. What does scare me however, other than losing those around me that I love, is the thought of not doing all the things I was meant to do before I go; going before I finished the tasks set for me.
We only get one shot at this earthly life and personally, I want to make it count. The lady holding the service today spoke of the legacy left behind by the deceased and how she would live on and it made me think about myself. What legacy would I leave behind if I died tomorrow? Morbid thought, I know, but one that I also think we need to ask ourselves sometimes (and what better time than at a funeral.) Would I even leave a legacy behind? That question then had me thinking about my life today and the things that I do: my work, my ministry, my volunteering and had me asking, what else? What else could I do to help someone, to show compassion on someone, to make someone who feels invisible feel visible and loved? Life isn’t about money or jobs or how many likes you get on Facebook or Instagram. Life isn’t in any of that because when we’re lying on our deathbed with our life flashing before our eyes, I’m fairly certain we won’t be remembering the great meeting we held or that time we got 34 likes on a picture! When I stand before God, I want Him to say, “well done”, not “you missed it!”. I want to look back on my life and smile with satisfaction because I made someone else’s life a little bit better. I want to be someone who loves people without questioning whether or not they deserve it.
I’m heading into a new season in my life and I’ve made some very intentional decisions about how I live my life because honestly, I want to leave some good footprints in the sand. This post isn’t about getting a slap on the back from anyone or boasting about myself, it’s about holding myself to account and stating my intentions. It’s about putting it out there that I stand for mercy and love and compassion and want to be held accountable if I don’t do that, which I’m sure at some point will happen because I’m human and flawed and have moments of me, me, me! I try to love like Jesus in as best as my flawed little self can, but there are times when I slip up because I’m so far from perfect it’s not funny. But I’m trying. This post is also about challenging others that want to be challenged to do the same, to step out and say they want to be a world changer and someone who puts love and compassion for others first. In a way, this is a call to action to step up and be life changers. So the question is, who’s game?