In Ecclesiastes, Solomon talked a lot about topic like looking for purpose in life, inevitability of death, and that most of our ministries, careers and enterprises , will be short-lived and not remembered after we’re gone. Few of us will do things that will cause us to be celebrated in a history book a hundred years hence. We’d be blessed to be found in a footnote! While it is true that a few notables leave their historical impressions for several generations, usually that is not the case. You can walk through the cemeteries of any city and see row after row of headstones which mark the graves of forgotten people. The epitaph on many a gravestone , “Gone, but not forgotten,” unfortunately is not true. The point is, one needs to exert his influence now; he should use his talents, energy, money, personality, etc., to do good while he is living, for the day is coming when his earthly opportunities will be over. We’re all actors on a stage—-but the final act comes for all of us.
Lately the uncertainty of everything has come upon me more profoundly. I might have escaped the dreaded result of my concerns at this same time last year, but this new year has new concerns as potent and mind-boggling as the former. Coincidentally, last night I was awakened early in the morning by an inability to swallow and noticed a large swelling on the right side of my neck, about the size of a golf ball. Clearly, something was wrong with me and I wonder about my last performance on the stage. Was it coming?
These things cause anyway to stop, for a moment, and consider: “Is my house is in order”, because death is inevitable for me and everyone reading this devotion. Surprises as I had Saturday morning put life in perspective. If I leave this world today, or next month, will I leave my community a bit better because I was here? Will I be missed? What will really be said about me what I am gone? Will folks say, “Well, he was a nice enough fellow, buy you know he really was a _______”; or will others say, “I don’t mean to be uncharitable, but now that he is gone I really think it should be said that he was ________.”
How will the sentences about me be completed when I am laid to rest in the ground——and what can I do about it now to save my family and my close associates embarrassment and chagrin?
Far more important, when our time is up, will we have finished the tasks He has given us? Will we find that our last act on the stage is our finest, or will we find we missed too many rehearsals and made far too many excuses for not memorizing our lines? And regardless of my performance, will the things people repeat and copy from my life draw them closer to Him or push them farther from Him?
Either some antibiotics will clear up whatever it is that has my doctors confused, or a biopsy will show that I have cancer. Regardless, I still have a race to complete; I have a legacy and performance that I can still effectively hone to be one that others will want to copy, not eschew. But there’s no time to waste thinking that I will live forever on this earth and I have a second life in reserve to live! The curtain is going to fall one day on my play (and yours)—ready or not.