Football, basketball, track, horse-race, race cars etc, for this case in point they all have one thing in common. They are all racing for a win. They all compete. No one wins immediately. There is a length of time before the winner is called. Some game is longer than others. Winners are called early and some go into over-time but at some point, there is a winner.
In every arena there are fans, you know the people that cheer and want their team to win. In the real world of sports there are some that would go to any length to support their team. They know when each game is played and they don’t miss one. You have some that would pay top dollars regardless of their team’s winnings; They want the best seat and would travel over mountains to see their favorite team play. They don’t want to miss a second of the game. They want to see it all, as to say they are their team’s lucky charm, because if they miss a game, their team will lose.
They do it all while the game is being played. They are faithful fans. They just don’t want to be there when the game is over.
I said all of that to say what has prompted this post. I have had a concern for a while; Why do we go the extra mile to get to a person’s funeral but when they are living there is little to no concern?
A person I knew quite well died a few months ago and I knew she was transitioning for a while. Each day I had planned to visit or at least call but I didn’t. Of course when she died I was reminded of each plan but I didn’t pursue any. Yeah yeah, I prayed for her and her family while she was sick, but I felt like I should have done more.
I listened as many planned to attend the funeral and it got my attention. I began to wonder why do we make it a priority to celebrate a person’s life after they’re gone and sometimes take no thought of them from day to day when they are alive and well.
I am familiar with a few verses that we may think about when we say we are suppose to celebrate a person’s death:
- For me to live is Christ and to die is gain, Philipians 1:21.
- I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better, Philipians 1:23.
I have heard people say, “Oh it’s going to be a celebration,” but how many of the hundreds or even thousands have visited or even called while they were alive.
If they were sick, how many paid them a visit and uttered a word of pray. If the death was unexpected, how many of them have touched that person’s life in some way during their race.
Yes they have fought a good fight and finished the race, but how did have we cheered them on along the way.
The human race is the only “race” that I know of that hundreds or even thousands will celebrate you in death quicker than cheering you in the race.
In sports, teams have loyal fans that are there in victory as well as in defeat. I have to say this is baffling as I have attended many funerals with standing room only. I wonder how many, out of many can share not only how that person has touched their life but what have they done. I believe in the law of reciprocity. No we must build regardless, but I believe the world would be better if we follow, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too,” Philippians 2:4.
Folks of ole have said, “give me my flowers while I can smell it because when I am gone, I can’t smell it.” Makes sense to me.
I leave this with you as I vow to celebrate you while I can:
Let’s Do It Together!
Don’t give me flowers when I am gone; we can’t smell it. Let’s do it now.
Don’t utter my praise, when I am gone; let’s cheer each other towards the prize, so we win.
Don’t visit me when my eyes are close; we can’t share a smile. Let’s do it now.
Let’s do it all now so when we can’t share the aroma, shout hooray or smile, we will
have memories of the way it was.