When you die, and you’re hovering nearby in the space between the roses surrounding your casket and the ceiling of the church, (assuming you’re into that kind of thing–humor me) will you be happy to see who attends your service? Will you like the music they select as a tribute to your life? Will you blanch at the silly stories friends relate that show your zest for life and your unselfish tendency to poke fun at yourself?
We attended a class once as a young married when the teacher passed out paper tombstones and had each of us complete what we would like for our own tombstones to say once we had passed on. There were the requisite silly ones like “Told you I was sick” and “Here lies Eleanor. She lies…no more.” But then there were a few who took the assignment seriously and recorded what they really hoped to see. The lesson was a Bible study with the thoughtful intent to have each of us consider how we were to live so that our descendants would be able to say positive things about our outcome.
I thought at length back then about what I would like to see as the outcome of my life. Now that I’m in my sixties, I think that my goal, my wish at that early date still stands today. I had written on my paper tombstone, “She prayed. And her children know the Lord.”
I think that’s enough.
No, I mean, really. Every stop and think about it? The person you would like, in your head, to plan and design and hopefully execute. An exciting, in-demand go-getter? A quiet, studious introvert, dedicated to plants and animals but not to people? A famous ballplayer or scientist, or even a poet?
It came up as a movie line this afternoon. And I jumped on it. Thinking only of possibilities without restrictions, I started writing:
Who do I want to be? I want to be the gal who isn’t uptight. Who’s so relaxed about things that she draws others to her. Who thinks before she speaks……but one who can pop out in spontaneous, clever things too, who makes others laugh.
I want to sculpt. To shape clay into beautiful shapes and figures that just speak to the soul.
And I want to sculpt words so that they melt the heart and shape it into an eternally new shape with new insights into how to love other people. And with all of that, I want to share it–to pass my words on as a gift.
I want to give gifts that stun. That make your heart catch in your throat, and tears come to your eyes. That sting, that salty taste you get because you’re choking on them? That’s the impact that I’m looking for when I try to show you how deeply I care for you, about you and where you spend eternity.
That’s not such a bad thing, is it? Then why do we let the daily time-wasting routine moments get in the way and steal most of our time? I want to skip most of that stuff, and concentrate on what is essentially the real me. To concentrate the time I have left in accomplishing the most important things. Now the only challenge is to just figure out how.