Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handsbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Psalm 39:4-5
I know it’s not exactly on the top of your “Things I Do For Fun” list, but take a stroll through your local cemetery and read the epitaphs: the last words that someone saw fit to describe the deceased.
Some are pretty common: “At Rest.” “Gone But Not Forgotten.” Every once in awhile, you’ll come across some rather peculiar ones. In Nova Scotia, one Ezekiel Aikle’s tombstone reads, “Here lies Ezekial Aikel. Age 102. The good die young.” In New Mexico, the tombstone of Johnny Yeast reads, “Here lies Johnny Yeast. Pardon me for not rising.” It’s good to know that some still have a sense of humor, even when they’re passing from this life. But there are some epitaphs that are tragic. In England, Tom Smith’s stone reads, “Tom Smith is dead, and here he lies. Nobody laughs and nobody cries. Where his soul’s gone, and how it fares, nobody knows and nobody cares.”
Chances are, we haven’t given any thought to the words that will be engraved on our memorial stone. We’ll probably end up leaving that to someone else. Chances are, most of us haven’t given much thought to what the direction of our lives will be beyond the rat race—sleep, eat, work, rinse, repeat. Forever and ever.
Well, until we die.