Attending someone else’s wedding is good for my marriage. It reminds me of all of the vows I once made publicly 33 years ago.
Attending someone else’s funeral is good for me too. It reminds me to think of how I want to be remembered after I die.
This week we went to a neighbor’s funeral who, along with her husband, was also a long time Bible Translator with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We listened as her daughters, sons-in-grace (not “sons-in-law!), and grandchildren regaled us with stories of her crazy antics and her love for her family and God. She was a nurse, a Bible translator, and an author later in life. A prominent speaker, she and her husband had many stories of how God had worked in their village with the Awa people of Papua New Guinea.
What resonated with me were phrases such as, “She didn’t worry about offending people, but about offending God” and “She told everyone she met about the love of God.” There were no conversations about how clean her house was, whether she was a good cook, or what her favorite TV shows were.
God and family.
Stephen Covey, author of the popular book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests to his readers to imagine their own funeral. Think about who will attend it. What will they say about your life? What did you stand for? Who were you as an individual?
The older I get, the more I see the importance about being intentional about my time. While I have a vague “bucket list” that I want to complete, what is paramount is serving God and family. Doing that well takes conversations with all involved. Using my gifts to do something that lasts beyond my own short life is most important.
So if you ask, “What are you doing this year?” my answer is “Supporting my family and serving God.” Being available for my extended family is intermingled with my service to Wycliffe Bible Translators, Bible Study Fellowship and volunteering at my church, Forest Hill. Hopefully, by the grace of God, that will come out at my own funeral.