Get a life do-over after visit to house of mourning

February 19, 2019

When you face your own funeral, you may want to make some changes in your life. Problem is, the world will fight you if you try to change. You won’t fit in as well socially. You won’t be as hurried as everyone else. And your presence will cause others to reflect. Just being there may make some uncomfortable. You won’t even have to speak. Your life will speak loudly enough.

Jesus lived his life in an unhurried way. The wisdom taught in the Old Testament became enfleshed in Jesus in the New Testament. Did he go to the house of mourning? It would be a good guess that he did.

He went to the widow of Nain. He interrupted the funeral of her son and brought him back to life.

He went to the ruler’s daughter and pronounced her merely asleep.

He went to Bethany and walked out to the tombs. Lazarus went in a dead man but came out alive.

Jesus went to the house of mourning and he gained an eternal perspective. The tomb is not the reality. Resurrection is. And so he lived his life in light of that reality. What was important to him was God and keeping his commandments. His commandments either point you to loving God or loving people, and Jesus lived that kind of life perfectly.

He didn’t get entangled in trivial pursuits. He didn’t have a care for acquiring wealth. He didn’t do everything the religious leaders of the day thought he should do. He risked living differently than everyone else.

Help for your hurried life will only be found when you first go to the house of mourning. See yourself in your final resting place and begin with the end in mind. And then risk changing your life pattern. Live like one who has found their eternal resting-place in God and his commandments.

Nadine Stair was an 85-year-old patient of Bernie Siegel. She was facing death and it made her think about the life she had lived. She wrote these words:

“If I had my life to live over ... I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would scale more mountains, I would swim more rivers, and I would watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see ... I was one of those people who lived prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, hour after hour and day after day ... I’ve been one of those people who never went anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute .... if I had it to do all over again, I’d travel lighter, much lighter, than I have.

I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and I’d stay that way later in the fall. And I would ride more merry-go-rounds, and catch more gold rings, and greet more people, and pick more flowers, and dance more often. If I had it to do it over again. But you see, I don’t.”

Nadine doesn’t have the chance to do it all over again. But you and I do if we heed the preacher’s advice. Look through the church window.

Go to the house of mourning. Risk a change in your lifestyle. And take your “do-over” while you can.