I have read many obituaries in my life.
I read who the departed was related to. I read where they lived on earth. I read what their earthly “accomplishments” were.
I often had the urge to write addendums of who I knew them to be. How I would describe their life often had nothing to do with their DNA, career choices, awards, or hobbies.
I remembered the warmth of their smiles, the comfort of their hugs, the way they talked or laughed and the wonderful ways they made my life and the lives of others better.
As I reflected on my memories of those who have been promoted to Heaven, I began to realize that what I would have written about them is truly what I would like to be said of me one day.
I am not there yet. I take comfort in what Paul said about himself.
“I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
But, as I remember the Saints of God, who touched my life, I know I want to be like them when I grow up. I would like it to be said of me —
She loved God.
She loved everyone, even those who were different and challenging to love.
She repented of her missteps and received God’s forgiveness. She lived a life of receiving Grace and Mercy and she extended it to others.
She forgave everyone.
She loved her family, but she welcomed others into her family too. She never made anyone feel like an outsider. Everyone was in.
She loved life. She saw God in everything. She rejoiced in the every moment miracles.
She was funny. She found the humor in life and shared it.
She looked for ways to encourage others.
She shared the resources God gave her. She gave to those in need. She delighted in being God’s “delivery girl.”
She prayed. She prayed for those she knew and those she did not. Her days were filled with calls to prayer. All those who knew her knew they could depend on her to pray.
She was full of Hope. She was persistent and never gave up. She trusted God had a Plan and it was a good one.
Music filled her life and overflowed into songs of praises to God. She lived the meaning of her name, “Carolyn,” which means “song of joy!”
God so completely filled her life that people felt His Presence more than hers.
The Fragrance of Christ lingered long after she was gone!
I’ve got a lot to work on before I can come up to these standards, but now you know my goals. Those of you who are still here after I am gone can see how you think I did.
But the real evaluator will be My Creator!
I think of earth as our “basic training” for Heaven. All we hope to be in full begins now. You may want to make your own list. How would you like to be remembered?
If we fulfill now what we are called to do, our lives will not just be a listing of our earth activities from the funeral home when we leave these bodies.
It will be a welcome home in Heaven where God presents us to all assembled, reviews what we did on earth to further His Kingdom, and says,
‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’