Archived Sections, From the Editor

Life's Short. Do something!

How do you want to be remembered? What are you doing about it?

A good bit of discussion has been generated in the Twin Cities lately by a controversial billboard. It shows an attractive couple with this invitation (from a law firm seeking to drum up some business): “Life’s short. Get a divorce.”
I’ve been thinking about that cynical message, and have wondered why others in a similar vein have not yet appeared. “Life’s short. Rob a bank.” “Life’s short. Have an affair.” “Life’s short. Get a stranger pregnant.” “Life’s short. Raise some hell.”
The billboard is right about one thing. Life really is short, in the grand scheme of things. Eighty or 100 years is not very long when you consider the long stretch of history and the age of the universe. (And, obviously, some of us will never even make it to our 80th year.)
So, what do you do with a relatively short lifetime? I’m reminded of an exercise I used to try with Luther Leaguers (boy, am I dating myself!) in congregations I once served. It had two parts. First, write an epitaph for your tombstone. Second, write your own obituary.
In both cases, the idea was the same. Kids were asked to imagine how they would be remembered. How would they want people to remember them? The logical next step was to ask, “In order to create a memory for yourself, one that you can be proud of, what needs to happen next?” I always loved the discussions which that question generated.
It’s never too late to think about our legacy, and it’s never too late to take steps toward achieving it. What do you want to accomplish for good before you die? What opportunities and resources do you have to pull that off? What’s holding you back?
I am increasingly convinced that there is no better legacy for a Lutheran Christian than to have lived with integrity. There are plenty of us who are doing that now. Don’t worry about getting a monument in the park for great deeds and accomplishments. Living life honestly, with purpose and courage, is its own reward.
Life is short. Do something useful, worthwhile, memorable. Something God-pleasing.