Cemeteries are fascinating places... I usually have the same thoughts each time I pass one. Some may believe merely speaking about cemeteries is morbid but, I find myself wondering as I go by about the contribution and influence each life made in this world. (Yes, I sentimentalize most things to a fault.)
Just as a drop of water creates rings that reach further and further until their ripple effect blends into the rest of the pond, each and every individual, no matter how young, old, rich, poor, etc... has made an indelible impression in this world. Their reach may have been within a very small circle of friends and family or perhaps they were well known and changed many lives just by being here. It is crucial to remember as we spend our time on earth, that we should be living on purpose. We don't need to discover the next planet or become the new reality star. We need to invest in people. So that brings me right back to those headstones. How many lives were made better by knowing one of these departed souls? A cemetery truly holds so much life, not death.
Sure, a graveyard is a reminder to us that we are not immortal. But it should also encourage us to live while we can! One of my favorite books is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. In it, one of the characters says, "You don't have to live forever. You just have to live." Isn't that what God would say as well? You are His creation, and as long as you take up space in this world, make it worthwhile....not just for your own enjoyment and indulgences, but for others as well.
God's word says,
- "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
- "Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." Romans 12:10
The questions that I press upon my self are these: What will my impact be? For how long will that impact be felt...years? Decades? A generation or two? I won't ever fully know on this side of the grave, but there is Someone who does.