This week there has been a theme in my life–what you leave behind. Today and tomorrow, I am helping some friends with an estate sale. As I looked around at all the stuff-some cool, some personal, some not, I realized it is all so important to us for a time and then we are gone. We work to accumulate that new couch or gadget or paint color or house or fashion, and in a moment it is dated and simply our “junk” that means nothing to anyone else. All the things that we want to make our identity and what do we have to show for it in the end? For those who know me, I am a thinker. Sometimes I drive myself crazy fast forwarding my life. I look at older people and think “they were my age a day ago and now they are struggling through new things–deaths of spouses, friends, careers, and independence.” Yet, we all live like we are promised a long tomorrow.
This week, a friend and co-worker of ours, Jeff Hill, spent some time ministering and loving on the staff at Fellowship as he faces his death from colon cancer. His goal has been to die well for the glory of God and the gospel of Christ. As I watched as people emptied the room from being with him, I saw a treasure to leave behind. I saw lives that had been touched that day and in the past from prayers lifted up by Jeff and from encouragements spoken to them by Jeff. I witnessed as he encouraged my husband to be bold with teaching and proclaiming the truth of Christ in God’s word. I thought back on multitudes of Sundays where I witnessed Jeff praying for the people coming into Fellowship Church to worship. I remembered smiles and conversations when Jeff lovingly and purposefully took time to really find out what was going on with me and others in order to pray and speak of the Lord. I thought of how much God has blessed our congregation with Jeff’s presence. He is an integral part of our body–one that will be really missed. He has treasured Christ and honored him in his life–he has lived it out. That is a legacy. That is a life. Trinkets that come and go–moth and rust destroy and thieves steal, but a life given away consistently for the cause of the gospel of Christ and lived in the love of Christ–that is what it is about.
Defining each day of life in the frame of eternity will cause us to live differently. May I leave behind investments of time, energy, love, prayer to treasure Jesus Christ and his good news. May I not settle for a treasure of things here on earth.