Today in the USA is Memorial Day, a time for us to remember the soldiers who died while fighting for our freedom. People have been dying in battle for thousands of years for hundreds of countries and kings, this isn’t something new. Nor is it new to honor our dead, that’s also something that has been done for years through the graveyards and memorials, not to mention naming babies. For the people who have passed while fighting they don’t have much say on how they go out of the world, on the people they see last, things they do last, and their last wishes. Most of us don’t have a whole lot of choice in it, yes we can say that we don’t want to be kept on life support, and our life choices like smoking, drinking and reckless driving can have an impact on how or how soon we die, but that final moment is usually out of our control.
But what about our last message? A few years ago the book “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch was huge. It’s about the professor’s last lecture before he passed away with pancreatic cancer, encouraging students to really think about what their future holds. And it’s about what he thought would be his last chance to really give the world a message.
The memories we have of others are often all we have of them, and for friends of Jesus it was the same. They only had what they could remember of Him and the stories they wrote down. No one sticks around forever, but we do have a choice in the legacy we leave.
While you’re out celebrating Memorial Day with BBQ’s, picnics, parades, family and friends take time to think about how people will remember you and what legacy you’ll leave on this planet. If you were to die today would people remember you for the difference you made in the world, for the great times you had together and for your faith? Would they remember how miserable, lazy and hurtful you were? Or would they not even remember you at all?
Choose to be a good memory, to leave a positive impression on the world, and make it a better place for the next generation.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27