Why do we have to die?
Why do we have to die? To make life important.
We attended a funeral together this morning; a funeral of someone connected to many of our friends and people we know. The service was in many ways a celebration, one that lifted up the legacy of this person’s life. The message most strongly conveyed was one of hope and love and especially of the love that touched the lives and hearts of everyone there. Life is made important simply because of love. And life is given hope when love is at the center.
It is love that makes life meaningful. Yet…as the author Mitch Albom wrote in his classic book Tuesday’s With Morrie:
So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
The man whose funeral we attended was a Veteran, who found meaning in serving our country. As we write this on this observance of Veteran’s Day we reflect on the lives of so many, who like his, have lived lives of sacrifice. What is the purpose of their sacrifice? To ensure that we have the freedom to love, that we have the freedom to pursue our passions and to use our gifts whatever they may be to create meaning in our lives, to be who we truly are.
Today we challenge you to give thanks for those whose lives have enabled you to live a meaningful life. We challenge you to not take for granted the life you have, the love that you have been shown, and the love you are able to give to others. We squander and waste much of our time and efforts chasing and focusing on the wrong things—things we think are important. It is simply love that outlasts everything, that endures forever. And when we love fully and generously we have the best hope of living life meaningfully and well.
Because in our professional lives we’ve had the occasion of attending many funerals and being with people at the end of their lives, and with their families, it has caused us to really reflect on the meaning of life and death and the purpose in all of it. What we have discovered, and have come back to time and time again, is that this is simply about love—that is really the only thing that lasts and the only thing that matters.
We leave you today with another quote from Tuesdays with Morrie to remind all of us that life is important simply because it doesn’t last forever~but love does!
Everyone knows they’re going to die,’ he said again, ‘but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.