A few years ago, I attempted to pre-plan my own funeral service. I considered who I would have speak, the music that would be played and where I might be buried. I know firsthand those things have importance. However, I concluded I was totally missing one very important truth.
If you’ve ever seen a tombstone you’ve seen engraved a birthdate, a dash, and a date of death. Out of these three things, the only one I have control over is my dash. After preaching countless funerals, I’ve concluded that the following things will be evaluated after I draw my last earthly breath.
#1: What Was Your Passion? Did I live for things that really matter or did I spend my time doing things that won’t matter a hill of beans years from now.
#2: What Were Your Priorities? Many might say their faith, their family, and their friends. But, your true priorities will be determined by those around you who see your passions lived out.
#3: What Did You Accomplish? Each of us, are given talents, opportunities, and resources. It is not about comparing ourselves to each other. Did you do all you could, while you could, with what you had?
#4: How Deep Was Your Love? Many details in life will be forgotten. Exact dates and times will not always be remembered. But, a person’s love transcends time and leaves a forever impact. Nothing you will ever share or buy for someone will go further than the gift of your love. Love displays itself through relentless sacrifice, above and beyond effort, and a grace that knows no bounds.
#5: How Did You Finish? Many feel they have wasted their life. But, as long as God grants you another day there is opportunity to finish strong. Forgive who you need to forgive, let go of what you need to let go, and do what God has called you to do. “Fight the good fight, keep the faith, and finish your race.”
#6: How Many Lives Were Touched? You don’t have to be someone in the spotlight to be someone special. We all have the chance to touch every life we encounter in some way. Who did you make smile? Who did you help out when no one else would? Who found their way to Heaven because you lived out your faith and shared your faith on a daily basis?
#7: Where Are You Now? It’s what goes through everyone’s mind when their love one leaves their sight. Where are there now and how are they doing? Scripture is very clear about how this is determined. Those who choose to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin and the promise of eternal life in Heaven will be saved. But, those who don’t choose to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ will bust Hell wide open. God sent Jesus in hopes that you might find salvation.
(John 3:16-18)(ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
At the end of my life, the only thing that will take place is someone will facilitate my burial, but I will have preached my own funeral.One day, I will make an eternal transition. Life as I know it will be no more. Folks will gather to celebrate and reflect upon my life. All that will matter is what I did with my dash.