The death of my dear friend taught me some invaluable lessons about life.
The wise man said:
“A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one’s birth; Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 (NKJV).
Attending funerals should be an opportunity to learn important lessons about life. Unfortunately, many usually get carried away with eating and drinking.
Below are some lessons I want you to remember the rest of your life:
(1). The world will not end the day you die.
People will cook that day, eat, watch television, discuss politics and sports and go about their normal daily routine.
Nobody will stay at the morgue with you. Nobody will resign from work because of you. Nobody will mourn you for life. Few hours, days or months after your death, your family, friends, enemies, foes and everyone you know will move on.
People will still attend church services. As a minister of God, your friends who are in ministry will keep preaching and holding church services.
The world will move on the day you die. So, stop trying to please everybody. The same set of people you’re trying to please today will move on few minutes after your death.
The highest thing they will do is to say nice things about you and move on with their lives.
(2). Your unfulfilled dreams and aspirations will die the day you die.
–A dead man cannot chase a dream.
–A dead man or woman cannot fulfill a destiny.
–A dead person cannot write books, produce songs, organize seminars, graduate from the university etc. Everything will go to the grave with you.
If you were planning to write a book and failed to take action, it will go to the grave with you.
If you were planning to start a ministry that is geared towards mentoring and preparing teenagers for life but fail to start, the vision will go to the grave with you.
Whatever you failed to do while alive will go to the grave with you. That is the reason why we must stop listening to naysayers and make our lives count before we die.
Dr. Myles Munroe said,
“The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They are not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, bestselling books that were never written, and masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential.”
If my great mentor, Dr. Myles Munroe did not pen this quote, you will never read it. It would have gone to the grave with him.
(3). People’s opinion about you do not count.
The people who are doing everything possible to stop you from chasing your dream will not go to the grave with you.
People pleasers will definitely go to the grave with their dreams, visions, destiny, talents and expertise.
I am not saying you should be arrogant or deliberately offend people, but to keep chasing your dream whether people like what you’re doing or not.
If you do something good, people will make negative remarks. If you do something bad, people will equally talk. If you are working hard, people will say you’re too busy. If you are idle, people will say you’re lazy. If you’re tall, people will complain, if you’re short, people will complain.
Ascertain what God created you to do in this world and make it your life mission.
Turn your back to naysayers and keep moving forward.
Trying to please people is the shortest route to the city of regret.
(4). Who you are will outlive you.
J.R. Miller opined,
“The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried is the character of a man. What a man is survives him. It can never be buried.”
The memory of you can never be buried. We will remember how good or bad you were. Your neighbors will remember the kind of person you were.
It is imperative that we leave wonderful memories before we die. On the day Dorcas died, this happened:
“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.” Acts 9:36-42 (NKJV).
What will people remember you for?
I want to end this discussion with a story I shared in one of my books, Twelve Pillars of Financial Success.
“I read a story titled “The city of Regret” by Dwight Bain and I wish to share it with you.
“I had not planned to take a trip this year, yet I found myself packing anyway. And off I went, dreading it. I was on another guilt trip. I booked my reservation on Wish I had Airline. I didn’t check my bags; everyone carries their baggage on this airline and had to drag it for what seemed like miles in the Regret City Airport. And I could see that people from all over the world were there with me, limping along under the weight of the bags they had packed themselves. I caught a cab to Last Resort Hotel, the driver taking the whole trip backward, looking over his shoulder. And there I found the ballroom where my event would be held: The Annual Pity Party. As I checked in, I saw that all my old colleagues were on the guest list: The Done Family—woulda, coulda, and shoulda. Both of the opportunities Missed and Lost. All the yesterdays, there were too many to count, but all would have sad stories to share.
Shattered Dreams and Broken Promises would be there too along with their friends, Don’t Blame Me and Couldn’t Help it. And off-course, hours and hours of entertainment would be provided by that renowned storyteller—It’s their fault.
As I prepared to settle in for a really long night, I realized that one person had the power to send all those people home and break up the party: ME. All I had to do was return to the present and welcome the new day! If you have found yourself getting on the flight to the city of Regret, recognize that it’s a trip you booked yourself, and you can cancel it at any time without penalty or fee. But you are only one who can.”
If you don’t want to live in the city of regret you must endeavor to make your life count from today. When some of us get to heaven and see the enormity of what God wired us to accomplish on earth, we will lament and regret listening to naysayers.
Wisdom is profitable to direct.
What did you learn today? Share your thoughts with others at the comment section below.
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