News for the week of Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Column — Reflections
What Will Be Said About You?
By Lonnie Wilkey
editor, Baptist and Reflector

Several weeks before Christmas I received a phone call from the daughter of a dear friend of mine who had been diagnosed with cancer and was not given long to live.

I went to visit Jeanne Cathey Fraser who served as my secretary when I joined the Southern Baptist Convention’s Education Commission in 1982. Over the years we formed a friendship that lasted long after her retirement and after I left the SBC agency to join the Baptist and Reflector staff.

Jeanne asked me to do something that I have never done before and more than likely will never do again — conduct her funeral. I did everything possible to convince her she needed a “real” preacher but she would not hear of it. Out of my love and respect for her I agreed that I would do it.

So on Dec. 31, I found myself in the chapel of Hermitage Memorial Gardens conducting her funeral. She had died on Dec. 28.

In preparing for what I would say, I discovered that it really was not that hard because Jeanne was a wonderful Christian woman who loved the Lord and her family and friends. It was not hard to find plenty of good things to say about Jeanne. In addition, her family asked that the gospel be shared in case someone was there who was not sure of where they would spend eternity. We celebrated the wonderful life Jeanne led instead of mourning her death.

As I prepared my remarks I found my mind wondering what someone would say about me when I leave this world.
I would hope the person could find plenty of good things to say, but if I could only have one thing said about me, what would it be? I would encourage you to consider that question as well.

When I die, I hope someone will be able to honestly say that I did at least one thing (and hopefully many more than one) that made an impact on God’s kingdom. If those words can’t be said about me (or any of us for that matter) then we have wasted our Christian pilgrimage here on earth.

I fear too many of us spend too much time on making our time here on earth comfortable for us rather than being concerned about making an impact on the kingdom of God.

As a new year begins, think about the question above and begin living accordingly. May you have a blessed year in 2014.


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