Writing My Obituary
A few years ago my older brother asked me to write my own obituary.
I remember the day clearly.
We were talking on the phone and we were talking about our lives and what we had both experienced in the last number of years. We shared and talked about what God had led us through in the past and how He was working in our lives at that point. The conversation came to a small moment of silence and that’s when he asked me the question that I still think about quite often.
‘Danny, have you ever written your own obituary?’
I was a little taken back and didn’t respond right away. He went on to tell me about a mentor he had years ago that encouraged him to do what he asked me about. The man had encouraged my brother to write his own obituary. I was still a little taken back about the thought of my own mortality as my brother went on to share about how the process helped him embrace his own mortality. It’s a sobering thought…embracing one’s mortality. Embracing our own mortality allows us to put in perspective our own life’s choices and how we spend our time.
What would be said in your obituary?
- Would it chronicle your interests and hobbies?
- Would it list your favorite movies or television shows?
- Would it list how many Twitter followers you had?
- Would it share how much you loved God?
- Would it share your most liked profile pic from Facebook?
- Would it list the lives we impacted for eternity?
Most of us don’t like to think about our own mortality. I know, for myself, I am focused on the here and now. What can I accomplish today? Who am I meeting with today? What obligations do I have today? What am I doing today? I don’t think about my own mortality and eternity beyond this life like I should. I’m focused on the here and now. And yet, embracing our own mortality helps us get to the point where we are living with the end in mind. The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 9:27 that ‘it is appointed unto men once to die.’ When my brother asked me that question four or five years ago it forced me to consider two thoughts:
- What would I include in my obituary?
I didn’t like the thought of what would be included in my obituary. Far too many choices in my life that achieved temporary happiness and not enough choices that led to giving people hope. Far too many times I did what was best for me at the expense of others and not enough times did I consider what God would have me to do for the benefit of His kingdom. Far too many temporary accomplishments. Not nearly enough done for eternal significance. I wasn’t living with the end in mind. I wasn’t living with the thought of how my life could be used for God’s kingdom.
- The second thought I had to consider was…how can I live today to impact the end of my life?
I don’t have time in this blog post to share the answer to this question other than to say that I wanted to live in a way that gives people hope. When I came face-to-face with my mortality and found the life-changing hope of the Gospel, I wanted to spend the rest of my life as an ambassador of hope.
It was Benjamin Franklin who said,
‘Dost thou love life?
Then do not squander time,
for that is the stuff life is made of.’
So,…have you written your obituary?
Until next time…