Saturday, October 04, 2014

We All Want to be Remembered

I read this article (link) earlier in the week about a college student named Kendall Wernet who died while on a cruise ship.

Before that fateful day, Kendall had some great questions and introspective statements on his company's website when reflecting on the death of Robin Williams:
This got me thinking: How will the world react when I die? Will my face be on the news? Will people say it was a terrible occurrence? What will they remember about me?
Ask yourself these same questions.
Suddenly, you start to get this weird feeling inside of you that makes you question what you are doing with your life. Because, the truth is that we all want to make a difference and leave a mark on this world. We want to be remembered.
From the article it appears that Kendall Wernet was hoping/trying to make his mark on the world and to be remembered by (a) being successful at work and (b) helping others to do so also.  Now that he's gone though, and his face is on the news, is financial and occupational success what really matters?  If there is indeed an afterlife, then the answer is "not a damned bit".  Because right now the only thing that really matters to Kendall, and Robin Williams too, is whether or not they made it into heaven.  In addition to that #1 priority, here are the most important questions to me, regarding how I impact the world before I die:
  1. Did I make it to heaven?
  2. Did I help others to make it there (to heaven)?
  3. How much spiritual impact did I have on the world (encourage others, speak truth, etc)?
  4. Did I leave a memorable legacy for my family?
    • Remain true to my wife.
    • Raise my kids with all of the skills and knowledge that they need.
    • Have a solid, loving relationship with all of the above.
    • Provide a good (as close to ideal as possible) example of what/who a man should be?
  5. Was I a good friend to those around me?
All of the other things that the world looks at as successful are mostly useless.  Because all of the other "marks" you can make on the world won't last very long after you're gone from it.  And since none of us know when we're going to die (on a weird cruise ship accident, or when you're 100 years old), isn't the smartest approach to first address priority #1 in the list above?  If so then the way to do this is by turning your attention and affection to Jesus, who is the key to getting to heaven.  That way no matter when you die you'll meet this objective.

Luke 23:32-43 mentions two thieves on the crosses next to Jesus - one on each side.  One of them said "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."  Jesus assured the thief that he would indeed make it to heaven.  And that is how we should all hope to be best remembered.

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