Marcus Garvey had the rare opportunity to hear his own eulogy. Garvey was sick but false reports spread that he had died. Friends and foes began to speak about his life and Garvey had a front row seat to what people would say about him when they thought he was dead–much of it was unflattering.
Recently a scathing obituary went viral about a woman whose children told the world what they really thought of their deceased mother. They wrote: ”We celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children.”
We will all die. We will all be remembered.
Starting at the Finish Line
It was Stephen Covey who said that we should “begin with the end in mind.” I couldn’t agree more. In the ultimate sense we should live with a compelling sense of what eternal life with God will be like and then organize our life in accordance with that vision. Additionally, we would be wise to thing about how we want to be remembered. The psalmist wrote,
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” (Ps. 39.4)
Write Your Eulogy Now (Click to Tweet)
A few years ago I decided to write my own eulogy. I call it my Legacy Statement. I sat down and thought deeply about how I wanted to be remembered. I asked myself, “What do I want God, my wife, my children, my church, my people and the least of these to say about me?” The result is a one page document that I review and pray through regularly.
Have you thought about writing your own obituary? It’s simple. Set aside an hour and prayerfully write down the most important relationships in your life and how you want to be remembered. Write your answers from the perspective of each person or group and then live with then end in mind.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Ps. 90.12