How often do we think about the last advice or the last words we would mouth to the people we love? To be honest, I don't really think about it that much. On the occasion when I do think about it, I have a tendency to think about the words I would speak to my wife, my kids, their spouses, and grandkids if it was appropriate to assume my kids had them.
So much should be said—like our last "I love you's" or admonishes about the wiles of this world. Maybe I would want to share with them my favorite things about each of them; the shape and color of their eyes, their scent, their dimples when they smile, the contagious sound of their laugh, or maybe some favorite moment we shared together.
While I am sure I would have some talk of these things with them, I feel there would need to be more...
Look At Jesus
These words are the words I would want to utter and recite to my family and friends if I had the opportunity to share with them if I were on my death bed.
Look At Jesus
N.T. Wright, when asked the question about what he'd say to his children on his death bed—commented that he would tell them to read the gospels more, "to look at Jesus."
I find it fascinating when I read the gospels, I find this drive and passion in Jesus to make sure we see that he and the Father are one—there is this completeness, a wholeness between them. The clarity and power in their unity is what drives, transforms, restores, and secures all things.
"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." - John 10:29-30
In essence, Jesus is saying his dad is the biggest, baddest (Used in the American colloquialism—meaning good), and toughest dad in the neighborhood. Yet, he is also saying "my" dad is the most loving, caring, forgiving, and rescuing dad in the neighborhood.
You want to see God, look at Jesus—he is God who came to earth in the form of a man to reveal and demonstrate all the aspects of the Godhead to us. God loves, He cares, He forgives, and He rescues.
I would want my family and friends to know these things about Jesus.
I would tell them to read the gospels more, to look at Jesus, trust him, and then go do what he does.
This past week has been a whirledwind. One of my very close friends from college got married this past Saturday and I was in the wedding as one of his groomsmen. So all the stuff that leads up to weddings, such as friends coming into town (One of our close family friends is staying at our house), pre-parties, and etc; has kept me from following my blogging routine. Hence my last blog post was last Monday.
We still have friends in town, so it will be difficult for me to blog consistantly this week; however I did want to share a little thought that I had while the wedding reception was going on... Yes. My mind does tend to wander, no matter my circumstances, and I have a tendency to contemplate many things... Anyways...
I love weddings! Weddings never get old for me. Since I am a pastor, I have had the privilege of officiating several weddings, and I have also been a groomsmen for my cousin, my dad (I was his bestman), and a groomsmen for a couple of my friends. Additionally, I have also been invited to and have attended many weddings, and I have crashed a couple of weddings back in the day.
One of the things I love about weddings, besides the sacredness that weddings cultivate and elicit in our imaginations and in practice is the seeing of old friends and meeting new friends (I also look forward to the food at wedding receptions and a good piece of wedding cake).
I love reconnecting with long-lost family members, friends from my bygone years, and I love meeting new people from different areas of the nation and world. It's funny, as much as I am an introvert, I enjoy meeting new people and learning all I can about them and their lives.
Here is what I was thinking at the wedding this past Saturday...
I wonder if the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be like what I'm experiencing here at the wedding ceremony and reception?
That's it. Nothing earth-shattering, no profound words of wisdom, and nothing life-changing. Just that I wonder if at the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb" we will be hangingout with old friends and meeting new friends, and of course eating a good piece of wedding cake.
Think about this question: Who do you want to cry at your funeral? I know it is a little morbid to think about, but I was asked this question yesterday. Seriously think about it for a minute, because the people that you would want to cry at your funeral are the people that you in some way shape or form have left a deep impression on their hearts / souls. These are the people that you did life with, the people that you poured into and they did the same to you. You laughed with them, cried with them, and even became angry or frustrated with them at times.
To be frank, I have struggled the last couple of years to open myself up to people in this way. Sure I have my wife and three kids, my two best friends in Oregon, and a couple of coworkers, and maybe a few others, but the reality is I have been hesitant to be vulnerable to people. It’s doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with anybody, but really with myself... Yeah I know I could put the blame on people, like they are shallow, or you just can’t trust anybody these days - the actuality of it is I struggle with being in the moment and enjoying it. When you struggle with being in the moment you can’t focus on building relationships with the people around you.
It took me a little bit to answer the question. I guess I would want my family, my friends, people that I may have had some type of impact on (former students, past and present neighbors, and etc...). Anybody from anywhere needing a meal, I definitely would want food there and food to feed an army. I would want people who need to hear a good story or two and needing a good laugh.
When I hear the question, “Who do I want to cry at my funeral?” I don't really want anyone crying, I would rather have them laughing, either at me or with me... That's my goal now - I hope to focus on the moments and work on the relationships around me, and have a good laugh.