Live so that when the final summons comes you will leave something more behind you than an epitaph on a tombstone or an obituary in a newspaper. — Billy Sunday

My dad hadn’t been back to his father’s grave in England for ages. The stone etched with the name “Stanley Briscoe” had fallen; the weeds had grown over the withered stone and my father’s face reflected a pensive disappointment. We huffed and heaved as we righted the slab and pulled weeds out of the sacred ground.

The graves of those who have gone before us conjure up a strange mixture of emotions and thoughts. They wash over us—like tsunamis crashing down on the soul. And the blatant reality eventually hits us: One day, it’ll be us. Our bodies will die. Our lives will end.

I wish I had known my grandfather. The day we stood beside the grave my dad filled in some of the gaps with tales of the man:

  • Keeping the family grocery store open through the War and the Depression.
  • A man of his word… a man of the Word.
  • A lay preacher who spoke what he knew each weekend in a corrugated metal building they called “The Tin Church.”

Nothing fancy. Just a simple faith that knew the value of community, honesty, truth, and the value of investing life in something worth dying for.

Between birth and the casket, there are an unknown number of days God gives us to live for His purposes in our physical body. Some day it will be changed into a perfect body, but for now it’s wearing out. Yet, it continually waits to be used for eternal purposes.

Soon enough the dust of my body, of your body, will mix with the soil beneath a tilting headstone. Will the cemetery be kept up? Will weeds grow there, too? Does it matter?

Perhaps it’s best to let the gravestone lay.

Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. (Psalm 39:4-5)

Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.