Who is going to remember …
that we were ever on earth in 30—50–70 years?
I recently visited my son’s grave. I know he’s not there, but stopping cemetery and seeing “BRIAN PAUL COWELL” on a grave marker always helps me balance what is important and what is not important in my life.
Brian died in a hunting accident on December 11, 1992. He was 24 years old—no children. He had close friends and we occasionally talk and share memories. His younger brother, Kevin, certainly has wonderful vivid memories.
But in less than 100 years after his birth, nobody will remember Brian at all! If he had children and grandchildren, he would have been remembered a little longer. Admittedly, Hitler and George Washington have a longer place in future memories. But for most of us in three generations nobody will LEAVE A LEGACY! We talk about a legacy, but not many have one.
I have a talk I have given 100 times about “What I Learned From My Son’s Death.” I feel like I perpetuate Brian’s memory every time I get to share it. (It’s a good Father’s Day talk. You can go to www.chapelatwhitestone.com and hear it on page 2 of the Archives.) But Brian will be forgotten soon if we “only go around once and need to grab all the gusto we can.”
I believe there is more to “life” than this life.
I believe this is the “before” life and death is the doorway to the real life. Calling death the “after life” is incorrect! When I walked away from that fresh grave on a cold December afternoon—now almost 21 years ago—I remember thinking, “I’m glad this is not the end.” Way down inside our deepest part (our soul) there is a voice that at least whispers, “You were born for more than this! You should live forever!” Aging and death are absolutely universal and yet it is almost unbelievable that this much time has passed. Even when a loved one dies in “old age” it does not feel right.
Solomon sensed the continuation of our existence. He saw the vanity of living for this life only. Even with the frustration of life on earth, he perceived there was more and said, “He has planted eternity in the human heart, but people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) When I read that I want to shout, “I knew it! We are supposed to live forever!”
So it is not over for Brian. He did not have to lead a revolution or write a book. His legacy is that he believed that this life was the “before life” where he prepared for the real life to come. Only 24 years here but the “legacy” issue is resolved. He has a “future” and I will see him again!
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that everyone who believed in Him will not perish but Life on earth feels like the “real deal.” But this is a vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes—not into nothingness—but into the existence we were created for. We are pregnant with the seed of eternity in our hearts.