Weekly Thought – January 29, 2019
Fred didn’t remember wasting time as a child. He was ridiculed by others because he would sit and think, sometimes hiding in the attic or behind bushes to have alone time. Fred knew his goals were different from those around him. Serious thinking became the keystone of his giftedness.
When I was 28, I sat in a cemetery and decided what I wanted as an epitaph. “He Stretched Others” was the phrase back then – and still is. This became a driving mission as I wanted to be a productive, helpful piece in the development of others.
Thinking of our mortality is important. I read we have an entire generation who is trying to outrun old age through health care, exercise, cosmetic surgery – and fooling themselves. Considering the end helps us bring clarity and reality to the present.
Our son, Fred, asked me “Dad, if you had only one more to talk to make, what would be the subject?” An intriguing question, don’t you think? The importance of our choices increases as we age. We know our time to impact others is limited. Just as Fred asked me, I started asking questions of others.
That became a challenge to describe the process the answering the “final” question. “Fred, everyone doesn’t think about these things as deeply as you do. Help me figure out a process so I can answer my question.” Here are just four of the many questions I asked which may be helpful as you construct your own last words:
1) What fact do I feel has affected my life the most?
2) What one thing would I want to say to my children and grandchildren?
3) What is the one statement that most deeply stirs me?
4) What could I say that would affect my hearers the most?
Whether it would be one last speech to make, one last song to sing, or one last book to write it makes a difference to know what your final expression would be. In defining this you find out a lot about who you are and what your life purpose is.
Oh, just in case you wondered about my answer to Fred… “The True Nature of Man.” Is mankind basically good with a tendency toward sin or basically sinful with a possibility for good?
(Note: on Fred’s tombstone in the Dallas cemetery which he is buried, the headstone says “He Stretched Others.”)
This week think about: 1) What is my “one last” word? 2) How am I evaluating my life in light of the future? 3) Who needs to engage in this conversation with me?
Words of Wisdom: “Considering the end helps us bring clarity and reality to the present.”
Wisdom from the Word: “With God are wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (Job 12: 13 NET Bible)