I am a huge basketball fan. When the NCAA tournament comes around in March with wall-to-wall basketball I am enthralled. Even at forty-one years old, I still love to get out on the court and play a few times per week. I enjoy the camaraderie of playing with a group of guys, and I am thankful for the exercise.
There is one thing that frustrates me about any trip to the basketball court. The last game. I cannot stand to lose the last game. It is just so irritating! In fact, my children and wife can now tell from the moment I walk in the door whether or not I won the last game. My demeanor is different. My attitude is cheery if I win and crestfallen if I lost. This is definitely an area where I could use some improvement in my attitude!
On the way home from a recent trip to the basketball court (after losing the last game, of course!), I began to try and understand why it is that I hate losing the last game so much. Is it just losing the game? No, I recognize that I am never going to win every game. Picking myself up again after losing a game is essential.
As I mulled the thoughts in my mind, I settled on the finality of the last game. I want to be headed in a positive direction when I finish the my time on the court. By winning the last game, my sense is that the trajectory is positive and vice versa. Both reactions but affect my emotions. My desire is to end every game moving in an upward direction. While analyzing my thoughts and emotions, I was drawn to the idea that this is how I want to live my life. In the end, I want to finish with a positive trajectory affecting those around me for good.
I read a book several years ago that asked me to think about what I wanted people to say of me at my funeral. I wrestled with this question for some time. As I worked through some other questions that the book posed, my answer to this question became crystal clear to me.
When the end comes for me, I want people to say that I served others and thought of others before myself. My favorite passage of Scripture is Philippians 2:3-4 which says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
I share this to give you a glimpse into my heart but also to encourage you to think about how you want to be remembered. The time to start living your life in line with arriving at your desired finish line is now.
As I get older I am starting to consider the reality that one day I will have to hang up my basketball shoes. Whenever that last day comes, I hope I can go out with a win! Ultimately, the same is true for my life. I want the comments after I am gone to line up with the desires of my heart expressed above. That will be a win for me!
Question: Have you thought about how what you want others to say at your funeral? Are you living in line with that desire? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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