Yesterday, Pete and I traveled up to Northern Indiana to celebrate the life of his cousin. Pete’s cousin passed several weeks ago, suddenly, and took all of us by surprise. Personally, I know there are blessing that will arise from Bill’s death and yesterday was one of them. We spent time talking with family that we rarely see, and witnessed friends of Bill’s tell us stories about his life. As one of Pete’s young cousins walked up to read a scripture from Ecclesiastes, I rejoiced in what I heard. Beth gave a beautiful reflection on a scripture in Ecclesiastes and I just have to share it with you today:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
You see, God gives us this beautiful life here on earth, and so many spend this life by uprooting what is planted, tearing down what has been built, throwing stones at our friends and family, shunning those who don’t conform to our plans, throwing away God’s Word, tearing apart the very life He gave, speaking without wisdom, and envying others’ lives in order to cause chaos. All God wants is for us to enjoy the life here on earth, to follow His commands, to spread His word, and to love one another. Yet we all foolishly choose to live according to our own rules and standards.
Laughing, dancing, embracing, holding family near and dear, piecing the brokenness together, speaking for those who could not speak, loving and finding peace were all virtues that Beth saw through her uncle, and she couldn’t help but share it with others. Yes, his timing of death didn’t seem right to so many, but Beth saw his death as something beautiful. She moved passed his death and was proud to look at his life as a witness of God’s love that will forever be in her memory.
Our ability to leave a legacy has nothing to do with the money we leave behind to our heirs. It has nothing to do with the success that we achieve here on earth. All those things just cause chaos after our death.
Loving the Lord with all our heart and our soul shines more brightly than money and success. People cannot help but to be attracted to people who constantly shine God’s love. That is what we will leave when we die and join God up in heaven. So why spend time working to be the best, laboring to save our money? Why do all that, when just living under God’s word will do the trick.
Bill’s memorial service taught me that life can be very short, but well lived. Life can throw us a lot of challenges, but in the end, we will find peace in heaven. It even went one step further and showed me that a life well lived, will leave behind a beautiful legacy that will continue the beauty of spreading God’s Word: Love one another with all your heart and all your soul, and above all love God.
Start leaving your legacy today. Don’t wait. Shine God’s light through your words, your actions and all you do.