“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
Good morning, friends. I hope in your weekend you found a safe and cool place. Be prepared for more proactive safety this week; it’s going to be hot again.
I must admit my mind is in an uncomfortable place this morning: death. The past few days have been a barrage of emotional connections to death. A church member lost a dearly loved sister. A friend from my youth lost her wonderful mother. And my own eleventh grade English teacher, who was also the mother of a friend from my youth, passed away this weekend. I grieve for them all and as with most deeply emotional experiences I was drawn to deeper thoughts.
As a pastor I describe myself as an acquaintance of death. We are not friends, mind you, but I know it very well. I have learned from my encounters with death that the flavor of the life is the only influencer of the death. It is too easy to tell at a funeral who the person has touched and influenced, what flavor they added to life; I’ve led and attended many sad and somber funerals. And then there is the opposite extreme, when the funeral is a powerful revelation of life that flavored everyone with joy, love, peace and more. I have been blessed to be a part of these celebrations, too.
I’m not suggesting that a funeral is a voting experience; too many factors influence attendance. What I am saying is that the flavor of the experience is unmistakable. The minister doesn’t have to convince anybody of the flavor of the life; everybody knows. The question becomes: what flavor are you adding to life? Are you actively blessing other persons? What flavor are you adding to your world? If other persons had to tell your story what story would they tell? All faking and pretense ends at death. Everything true becomes revealed. What will be revealed about you?
I’m glad to say that the two lives I personally knew will be celebrated in immortal ways this week. I hope someday mine and yours will be, too. Let’s live our lives to flavor other persons, not to savor ourselves. I encourage you to begin a life today that connects in positive ways with other persons. Love, help, encourage, support, bless, forgive, show grace, be at peace. Ironically, as you begin to flavor other persons your own life will never have tasted better. Have a wonderful week.