Friday, September 21, 2012

What Will Your Epitaph Read?

Burial site of Ebenezer Erskine in Stirling, Scotland
     While we were on our anniversary trip to Europe last year, we made a point of wandering through the graveyard behind The Church of the Holy Rood in Stirling, Scotland.  At one time, John Knox had preached in the church as well as Ebenezer Erskine, both strong Reformed preachers.  The headstones in the cemetery were very old and worn so it was difficult to read them, but the words on each one reflected the faith of the person at rest there.  Some epitaphs were very short and others more lengthy, but all reflected something about the individual buried there.
     In God's Word, we read in Psalm 103:15-16:  "As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.  When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer."   Our lives are truly very brief upon this earth in comparison to our Lord who is from everlasting to everlasting.  While our spirit goes on, our bodies will some day return to the ground.
     Whether we care to accept it or not, each day we are writing a little more of our epitaph.  By our words, actions, deeds and faith, we are either showing forth the glory of Christ in our lives or we are living for the world.  What will others remember about us when our life here is ended?  Will our children only remember how many hours we worked and all the activities we missed seeing them in?  Perhaps our neighbors will remember what a tremendous housekeeper we were even though we didn't ever show much hospitality in order to keep the place clean.  Others might remember what a hard church worker we were even though we neglected our family in the process.  Do we really want those epitaphs?
The graveyard behind The Church of the Holy Rood in Stirling, Scotland
     None of us knows the hour when the Lord will call us home; therefore, it is important to live each day to God's glory...as though it were our last.  Serving the Lord and seeking His face each day, cherishing the relationships He has given to us and making the most of each opportunity He directs us in will make for a beautiful epitaph to our lives...not written in stone but in the hearts of those we touched.  I have always admired the epitaph to the life and ministry of Joshua which came from his own lips (Joshua 24:15):  "And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve;  whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  May this epitaph be said of each one of us when our time comes to return to our heavenly home.  Selah!



What would you like people to remember about your life?

2 comments:

Diane said...

This is a wondeful post. What a great living illustration you used with your introduction. I think we're alike in so many ways. Getting older and having so many different afflictions really gives us pause to consider how fleeting our few remaining days are. May we live them out for the glory of God!

(And being a bit of a hypochondriac I'm tempted to add on my tombstone: "I told you I was sick" ;)

Have a blessed Lord's day Barbara.

Barbara Thayer said...

Diane...you cracked me up with your comment about "I told you I was sick." LOL! That was funny! Yes, we are sisters of the heart and sisters in the Lord Diane. We all have to remember that God has numbered our days. My goal and desire is to glorify God in all I do, say and through my actions. I know that is your heart as well. It is so good that we can walk together in our common goal to glorify Him! May your Lord's Day be blessed my friend!