“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.
In March, just days before we were locked down because of the pandemic, a particularly good friend of mine died. He and his wife requested that I preside at his memorial service. After many schedule changes, we were finally able to celebrate his life this past Saturday. It was a day filled with genuine tears and hearty laughter. From the memorial service to the luncheon afterwards we shared our stories and comforted each other. I went home and reflected on just how amazing the day had been. A beautiful family and tons of friends paid tribute to a life lived to the fullest who impacted so many people on his journey through life.
As I sat and reflected on Saturday night I thought about the whole day. The words that were spoken, the music that was played and the way that John changed all our lives. A life well lived is not about riches or power or fame but that our loved ones gather to celebrate and share memories. It always comes down to relationships doesn’t it? So often we expand so much energy to be sure we have the right job, the right home, and the right clothes. In the end none of that matters. On a cognitive level we know that, but our society keeps telling us that we need the material things. You all know the saying, you can’t take it with you when you go, and yet so much energy goes into things that don’t matter at the end.
I wonder what our world would look like if we spent as much time on our relationships. If we took our time and energy and invested in each other, we could change the world one life at a time. How do you measure a life well lived? When you have joined the church triumphant will people talk about the way you impacted their lives? Or will it be all about the material possessions, the power you had, or the status you achieved.
If my friend John can teach us anything it is that a life well lived is a life that values family and friends above all else. A life well lived becomes a celebration of tears and laughter. A life well lived leaves people who have been transformed by your love and your interactions. A life well lived shares a legacy that get passed along long after you enter eternal life. A life well lived never truly leaves us.