A couple of weeks ago I watched “Troy,” a movie loosely based on Homer’s Iliad. A scene near the beginning where Achilles must decide if he is going to join with the rest of the Greek kings in attacking Troy caught my attention. He has gone to his mother for advice and she offers the following:
“If you stay in Larissa, you will find peace, you will find a wonderful woman, you will have sons and daughters and they will have children and they will love you. … When you are gone and when you children are dead and their children after them … your name will be lost…
If you go to Troy, glory will be yours. They will write stories about your victories for thousands of years. … The world will remember your name.”
There is something appealing about glory, knowing that how I lived will be remembered. I want my life to have meaning, to make a difference. It would be really cool if stories were written so future generations might find inspiration from my life.
This year I turned 45. This means I am about halfway through my working years. I suspect that it is somewhat natural to start asking the, “Have I made a difference?” questions. How have I performed in my roles as husband, father, friend, pastor, and boss? These are ultimately questions that others will have to answer. But I would like to stack the deck towards a favorable response.
During my time as a pastor, I had the privilege of officiating at many funerals. The centerpiece of every funeral service is the eulogy. To be honest, some eulogies are much easier to write then others. I remember visiting with one family that was glad their mother had died – not an easy eulogy to write or deliver.
There are eulogies that are easy to write. They tend to have two themes – love and sacrifice.
If you think about it, this is the theme of John 3:16, “for God so loved the world (love theme) that he sent his son (sacrifice).
Do you want to be remembered? Love unconditionally. Sacrifice recklessly.