You walk on plush deep pile carpet into a quiet room. The walls are tastefully decorated and the aisle is lined by light oak seats with burgundy covers. As you enter, the unsmiling faces are vaguely familiar, and you quietly make your way down the central passageway. Your favourite song plays in the background. As you proceed, the people become increasingly familiar, until the last few rows are filled with the tear-stained faces of your closest family. A wooden box sits at the end of the aisle and, peering in, you see your deceased body awaiting interment.
After a moment’s silence, a well-dressed man stands up and says these words:
We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of (insert your name here……..) known to all of us as……………….
What will be the final judgment of your nearest and dearest on your life and legacy? What if you were able to complete that sentence and compose your own obituary?
Using this image Dr Covey encourages us to live our lives in light of that final analysis. Whether we realise it or not, our daily choices help to compose our memorial.
Decisions made in the present determine the legacy left for the future. We do well therefore to consider what we are building, what treasures we are storing up, and what legacy will we leave behind.
More important than any earthly legacy, however, is our eternal destiny. The Bible clearly teaches that this world is not all there is. Indeed, it warns us that “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We should therefore prepare to meet our God, for there is the certainty of either a reward in heaven or punishment in the lake of fire. We should make it our purpose to flee from the wrath to come, seeking God’s forgiveness through faith in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But God calls us to something greater even than escape from hell: He promises an eternal reward to all believers who purpose in their heart to love and serve Him with every fibre of their being. Here is the promise: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
C T Studd, English athlete turned Christian missionary, wrote these words:
“Only one life, t’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”