Friday, January 17, 2014

Living With The End In Mind

On our recent trip to Romania we happened upon a beautiful cemetery full of graves which had elaborate carved wooden cross markers.  Each colorful marker was unique with a carved picture and written summary of the life of the one that was buried in the grave below.  Each painting gave the world a visual obituary, the dead one's occupation, favorite hobby or passion.  Some showed how the person died.  One had a depiction of a little girl being hit by a car.  This girl died when she was 3 years old, so her death was the most defining moment of her life.  
As I walked through the cemetery, I began to try to picture what my grave marker would look like if I was buried here.  How would my loved ones sum up my life?  
This is a great process to help us define our purpose and craft the life we would like to live.  If we can begin with the end in mind, it can help us envision our purpose, values and goals for the here and now. What would your visual obituary look like?  As you begin to visualize the picture you would like, work backwards by setting your purpose based on the picture that you would want to see on your grave marker.  

I exist so that ...
Because I exist to ____________, therefore I must do these things______________, ____________, ___________.  Then set your goals to help you to accomplish your resolutions.

We all live from our purpose, whether we realize it or not.  For many, their purpose, not stated but lived out, is to serve themselves.  As a believer, my purpose changes from serving myself to serving God and others.  And I must constantly remind myself of my new purpose as Romans 12:2 states, so that I begin to make decisions on this new chosen objective and not from my old default ambition of selfishness.  As we live from our stated and desired purpose, we can begin to realize the life that God has for us, regardless of the circumstances.    
When our life is over, your footprint will be left on those you have encountered.  What will they remember about you?  What picture would be on your grave marker?  


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