As a pastor, one of the things I get to do is perform a funeral. At first, funerals really bothered me. However, now, I feel more comfortable. I am glad that I can serve in the capacity to help someone or a family through a time of grief. After all, death isn’t the end, but rather a transition.
Anyway, there are times when I am asked to do a funeral of someone I don’t know, or don’t know very well. Those are hard. After all, I want to leave the family with words of comfort and words of grace. I want to be able to lead a celebration of life. However, there are times, when the person really didn’t live a life of grace and peace. That saddens me. It saddens me that I can’t honestly share that the person was loved by all that knew him. It saddens me that someone didn’t live their life in a way that touched the lives of others.
One of the things that is sometimes said about sports figures is that they were able to make those playing with them better. I guess, that is the type of life I want to live. A life that allows those who know me and interact with me to be better people. I realize that I’m not there. However, some things are coming into better focus the older I get.
I no longer am driven to ‘succeed’ any longer. In fact, I’m not even sure what that is. The American Dream isn’t really a dream after all…for what good does it do to gain the whole world when you forfeit your soul?
At the end of my life, I want others to be able to celebrate a life well lived. I want others to say, “He made us better people.” Of course, the only way that I can do that is to continue to point people to the One who can really change lives.