I hate top 10 lists, top 5 lists and any other list of click-bait serving article. They may be entertainment and serve to educate and inform but they don’t change behaviors. Rarely have an experienced a list that myself or someone else has come to and said, “Read This List!”
Well, some years back that did happen. A most unexpecting post from a friend from college. He was no ordinary friend. We lived in close quarters in the dorm and then the fraternity later on. He was quiet, spoke infrequently and was the studious intellectual. When he did speak typically it was profound and significant; everyone paid attention.
This was that instance where he “shared” a post to Facebook and it was a top list. It was named, “Top 89 things to do to change your life in 2006.”, or something like that. He rarely shared anything and this was completely out of character. I got wondering, if he shared this, it must be good. So I read it.
Ironically, in 11 years I’ve forgotten 88 on that list, but one sticks with me.
Write your eulogy and live your life backward.
At first, I didn’t understand this direction and the list was so long it had no explanation. The more I pondered this seemingly insignificant little item on the list I found it had great wisdom. Essentially it’s mission and living deliberately. Focusing on the goal of the end of life and life that you want to have lived puts everything else in perspective.
Being Christian and focusing on depths of hell, the reward of heaven, and the length of eternity should really clarify our purpose. Each of us may have a different role and personal mission but all of us are commissioned to sanctification as St. Paul says in Timothy.
I’ve written my eulogy once, 11 years ago, I don’t even know where it’s at. I forgot most of what’s in there. That’s 5 children, 5 moves, 5 states, and 4 jobs ago.
Yesterday I rewrote my eulogy. It took two different formats; one of words that characterized virtues or traits that I aspired to be known for; the other was you typical eulogy life summary. After putting journal away I sat and pondered the words of virtue and realized I had pretty far to go to be known for them.
That night I was the most patient Dad I may have ever been. It was like I was on trial for my life and that I had limited time to represent and conduct my life this way.
It was extremely focusing and mission orientated. I think I may write it every week, sounds slightly morbid, but if it keeps the eye on the prize than so it is.