I had been asked to perform the funeral by the deceased man's family. There was a distant connection, and I agreed to officiate though I'd never met the guy. A few days before the funeral I gathered with the children of the deceased to listen to family stories and get a sense for who this guy had been in life. Usually, this is kind of a special time that helps me learn about the person I'm helping lay to rest and becomes a time of healing and closure for the family. This time, however, instead of warm tears, laughter and precious memories heartfully related, I received a table full of empty stares and agonizing silence.
At the church, prior to the funeral, a stranger walked up to me. "This ought to be a challenge. How do you find something good to say about this guy?" he said with a sneer before walking away. After the funeral, many people commented that they appreciated how I handled the service in view of the terrible man in the casket.
How will I die? I don't mean "how" in terms of the manner in which I expire, but "how" in terms of the state of my heart and life when I reach the finish line here on Earth. It's not a question we think much about, but it's one worth pondering. Today's chapter states that "Saul died in disobedience." What a sad statement. What a rotten epitaph.
I want to die in obedience. I want to die in the love of God, my family, and my friends. I want to die having walked the journey well, having pressed on through adversity, having arrived at a place of deep contentment.
How will you die?