Leading a memorial for a 37 year old wife and mother of a 5 and 8 year old who died unexpectedly is just one of the things I did this week to live out my calling. Not necessarily a glamorous job—this thing of being a pastor. But it is rewarding to know you are walking along side someone in their worst moments of life and maybe bringing a bit of comfort and hope to go on. I had the opportunity once again to ask the rather somber crowd, “How do you want to be remembered?”
We should all ask ourselves that question on a regular basis until we are sure we have a clear and concise answer. How do you want to be remembered? It is a foundational question for establishing a purposeful life. It is core question in forming a life plan.
My friend Steve Spring has been writing about the importance of writing a life plan. In his blog this week, he used Stephen Covey’s suggestion of imagining your own funeral. He suggested two simple steps. First, imagine the important people who might attend your funeral: your spouse or significant other, your children, your family, your friends and your co-workers. And second, what are they saying about you as a husband, a parent, a friend and co-worker? Steve would direct you to go through each of your responsibilities in life and write down what you want people to say about you in this role when you are gone? Sobering but powerful.
As I moderated the public sharing time at the memorial service this week, I heard multiple people from this young woman’s life get up and talk about the impact she left as a friend, a co-worker, a daughter and more. I sort of doubt if this 37 year old had intentionally gone through this exercise to prepare for this moment, but I can only imagine she was extremely pleased by what each person said. She was a woman of purpose. A woman who authentically loved others. A woman who worked hard, served joyfully and gave generously of herself.
What will the most important people in your life say when you are gone? The good news is, you are reading this so there is still time to make adjustments and changes. What steps or action will you take this week to make sure you are remembered in the way you wish to be? Do you need to change anything at home? At work? With God?
QUESTION: What is the most important thing you would want said about you at your funeral? Share it in the comment section below.