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Picking the perfect epitaph

Epitaphs, those catchy statements we often see on gravestones, can provide great insights into the life of the dearly departed. Sometimes they play on the person's name.

"Here lies Johnny Yeast; pardon me for not rising."

Occasionally, there is a stab at poetry.

"Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake; stepped on the gas instead of the brake."

Then there are the attempts to vindicate the deceased.

"She always said her feet were killing her, but nobody believed her."

Have you ever considered what you would like chiseled on your headstone? My morning devotions brought this to mind as I read 1 Corinthians 4:1: "This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed."

I thought this would be an awesome way to be remembered: as a servant of God and one entrusted with his message.

However, the challenge of picking an epitaph in advance requires one to live up to its claim. Otherwise, your final expression becomes a contradiction instead of a testimony. But then, this is true whether the sentiment is chiseled in your monument or not. If we are not willing to live as we want to be remembered, no epitaph, no matter how catchy, will cover the truth.

A friend once gave me a sign that read: "Live in such a way that the pastor does not have to lie at your funeral."

This, I believe, also applies for your monument maker.

Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.