There was once a young girl, 6, shy and ever so sweet. You wouldn't have picked it from the blonde hair exterior, but this girl was obsessed with graveyards!
Each year her Dad would take her and her siblings out on separate, one-on-one outings. The little girl's sister would choose the movies, her brother, a meal at KFC. But her? Well she chose to visit graveyards!
She loved to walk around and look at the different tombs and read the headstones of the people who lay beneath. Some lived a long life reaching the age of 80, 90 or even 100, whilst others died young, as mothers or sons and sadly, even as babies.
There was just something about walking around and reflecting on people's lives and realising how short our lives are here on earth. This reality spoke to the little girl, even at a young age.
Well surprise, surprise – this little girl was me. Even now as I am in my early thirties, I still enjoy walking around graveyards as it gives me perspective on life. It reminds me how we must try to enjoy each day – as one day we will be all but a memory, with a tombstone that others may stop and read.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Recently, somebody who I knew as a child died suddenly. This has made me think again about this life and how temporary it is. While I have the wonderful assurance of eternal life, thanks to Jesus, death still makes me think about making the most of the life I have been given.
What legacy do I want to leave? What do I want my life to reflect? How can I expand God's kingdom? What good can I do? How can I be the light in the darkness? What spiritual inheritance do I want to leave my family?
"Go to the graveyard empty"
The late preacher from the Bahamas, Myles Monroe, was interviewed shortly before he died in a plane crash (the interview can be found on YouTube). Basically, he talks about how sad it is that the richest place is the cemetery – because there underground lie books that were never written, songs that were never sung, paintings no one has ever seen.
"The graveyard is filled with... great and powerful women that died as prostitutes, awesome men who died as alcoholics".
He goes on to say that he wants people to die empty, with nothing else left to do, that, "you have poured out all of your dreams, ideas, visions so that at the end of your life you can say, like Jesus did, 'it is finished' ".
Not necessarily that I am finished, because as believers we continue on – but rather, it is finished.
"Go to the cemetery and disappoint the graveyard, die like the Apostle Paul who said 'I have finished the course, kept the faith, been poured out like a drink offering, there is nothing left, I am ready to die'."
God has such a wonderful plan for your life. If you don't quite know what it is, keep seeking Him and I believe he will continue to guide you.
Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11 says:
'For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.'
Jo Fuller is a primary school teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She currently lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and young son.
Jo Fuller's archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html