How often is death, the under-the-sun type of death, brought to mind? Some people dwell in death, do you?
I am thinking about this subject because a good friend just passed away. My thoughts were about permanence, or how long we last here on Earth. I’m not talking about actually living on the Earth, but how long our memories last? Is it down to the third generation if we are blessed with grandchildren? The third or fourth generation if people we knew talk about us enough? It’s a question that comes to mind as I think of my friend, someone with a wife, four kids and three grandkids among other family members. Is he alive in any way after they’re gone?
This is not coming from an egotistical or narcissistic place (at least I hope not), it’s just a question. If someone is known for something extraordinary, a historical figure, they may be known regardless the time elapsed since they drank the hemlock. For most it probably maxes out around five or six generations. I may be forgotten as soon as the last shovelful of dirt lands on my grave. Does it matter?
Does it matter at all if I’m known for something on this Earth? Does it matter at all if I’m effecting lives after I’m gone? The answers, not personal but factual answers, to those questions are yes and yes.
Let’s talk about my friend. He was a missionary in New Guinea. He helped build a runway there so that other missionaries would have an easier time getting to the people in the interior. He was a man of God for the majority of his life, witnessing and spreading the word of God. He was a deacon in his local church for many years. His children are saved, one is a missionary in a very dangerous part of the world herself. Through all of these activities, his life will make an impact for as many generations as are left until Christ comes again. His name may not be known to many who come to know Christ due to his influence in other people’s lives, but he will still share in that impact. In case anyone was wondering, his name was Lawrence Newman.
Compare that life to the average Hollywood celebrity these days. He or she may be known for some piece of acting they did, or some other big temporal accomplishment, but will they have the same impact my friend will? Unless they are as sold out for Christ as he was, no, they won’t.
What is important then? That I had kids and grandkids (I didn’t but most have) who will remember me through the next five or six generations. Or that I made an impact on countless lives because I was faithful to Christ and His commission? This line of thought made me think. I hope it makes you think also.
By the way, if you do not know Christ…read to the end of a page on this site called the “Brag Sheet” and follow the road it talks about there. Any questions I am available at (816) 489-3382, @girvingarnold, or go to a local church and ask the pastor. Whatever you have to do, make a difference in people’s lives and truly live forever with the only One who can make that guarantee.