As we get older and begin to face our mortality, we naturally think much about our families and how we want life to be for them after we are gone. Certainly funeral planning, with all of the associated actions such as probate and estate planning, funeral needs and associated funeral costs, and the possible need to select an obituary writer come to mind. I think, however, that most important is the legacy that we leave behind, a legacy which is honorable, tells our life story and which makes our remaining loved ones proud. If we are successful in doing so by the way we live our life, one issue that often requires professional help, grief care, can often be negated. Let me explain why.
If we live in an upstanding manner, earning the love and respect of our loved ones, our light will shine brightly for them and in them after we are long gone. The pride that they feel having been part of our life will help them avoid grief care, for they will rest easy knowing that we have gone to a better place and a long needed rest. Oh, they will still miss us and have some moments in solitude of sadness, but the joy of their memories and the strength that our example has given them will negate the need for special help. They will be able to provide their own independent grief care with the positive light that we have left behind of ourselves.
Now having said that, what do I mean by living in an upstanding manner? After all, that is a broad term and all I can do is explain it in the manner that my heart directs me. If you don’t agree, establish your own criteria to live by but this works for me. It means trying to live the remainder of my life with the following foremost in everything I do, and I place the important things in order: God, family, and country.
God is placed first for me because He is truly my Father. Everything about me and all that I have been blessed to have comes from Him. With Him I am everything, but without Him I am nothing. And by following His Son, Jesus Christ, I am offered the opportunity to live forever with Him after this life is done.
Family is placed second and it follows after God because if I love Him and do my best to live my life as He demands my family will be cared for. And if I love Him, I will bring His love and caring to bear on them and they will ultimately reach the same conclusion from His light. In my life I have been blessed that my wife and children have accompanied my growth into becoming strong and loving Christians. They have had their ups and downs as we all have but when all is said and done they know that God is with them and that His Son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins and has offered his grace through faith.
My love of my country comes next. I was blessed to serve her in uniform and I am grateful that I was born in the greatest country on earth. I must say that I am sometimes troubled these days with some of the things that are happening but I know that if I rest my cares with God He will do His will. If that means times have to be tough for mankind to understand His truth then so be it. And when I pray to Him he will direct my energies to do what is right and just for the land that I love.
So when I die I want to be remembered for my strong belief in these three things, the second and third of which are always dependent on the first. And I know that if I live my life in this fashion and my family understands where I am coming from and has accepted a similar viewpoint about life, they will thrive after I have gone.
They may suffer some hardships and sorrow, but they will be focused on what is really important in this world. It is living your life as He would have us do and in so doing, with the love of Christ and the forgiveness He has given, they will be secure and safe whatever the future might bring.
In the end, the strength that He provides us through the gift of free leads us to true freedom. And this freedom is infectious if we display it by the way we live with love. For God expects us to live our lives with love in our heart both for Him and for mankind, even those who don’t love us. If we love in this manner we cannot fail because He loves us and He rewards those who praise Him and His Son. And that reward is the ultimate security blanket, more precious than property, gold and power. It is the gift of eternal life.
So put God in the form of the Holy Trinity, family and country in your heart in that very order. He knows that America was given a special gift of freedom like no other country has ever seen and he wants to see it strengthened and returned in full force. He also wants us to enjoy life on earth while we have it, but that enjoyment puts many worthwhile responsibilities on our shoulders. Meeting that requirement will secure both your family and your country and, for playing your part in doing so, you will leave wonderful memories for your loved ones and both you and they will be truly blessed.
God bless you all and have a great week.
Author of Honey, We Shoulda’ Bought the Ark, recognized as one of the
Best Reads of 2014 by American Pet Magazine