What DON’T You Want On Your Tombstone?

Someday it’s gonna happen.

You’re gonna die!

Now don’t panic, you’ve got plenty of time ahead of you. Still…

As uncomfortable as most of us are talking about our own mortality, mightn’t it be a good idea to reflect on how you want to be remembered when that day comes?

That’s a toughie. Maybe the better question to ponder is how you don’t want to be remembered. What is there about you that you don’t necessarily want to be remembered for?

In other words: What don’t you want on your tombstone?

I’ve given this quite a bit of thought for myself. Here’s what I don’t want mine to say

“Here lies Mitch. He was clever.”

Clever! It sounds like a compliment at first, but at second thought, what kind of life would that describe? Jokes and guffaws signifying nothing? If all I ever amounted to was clever, would that mean I never had something of substance to say? Would that mean I never really did something with my life?

You get the idea. Clever, for me, could point to a life without the depth of faith that I aspire to. That might be one way to describe me, but I wouldn’t want that to define me.

What about you? What don’t you want on your tombstone? Can you think of an aspect of your life that some might think is a defining characteristic, but only scratches the surface of who you are?

Maybe you’re quick to act but want to be remembered for your thoughtfulness. Maybe you’re a trend setter but you’d like to be remembered for being a strong role model. Maybe you’re a great cook, but you want your legacy to be your advocacy with children.

I don’t know the ways people maybe aren’t seeing you the way you want to be seen. And frankly, we don’t always get to choose other people’s perceptions of ourselves.

But if we’re clear about what we don’t want to have seen as our leading edge, we might find some motivation to chisel out the life we want to be living.

Well the bad news is, you really are gonna die some day. That’s how life works.

But the good news (aside from the whole Heaven thing) is that between now and then you have the opportunity to shape your life into something more lasting than any tombstone.

Perhaps you needn’t worry so much about your epitaph. After all, a few words could never sum up your life.

So, how about pondering a question that really matters, like…

Who’s gonna play you in the movie?
Have a great week,

3 thoughts on “What DON’T You Want On Your Tombstone?

  1. How “clever”! 🙂
    Mitch IS clever and has a wonderful ability to make us think about things in different ways.
    This was a great follow up to Sunday’s sermon – living with INTENT.
    Thanks for all the spiritual food Mitch!
    Tami and Mark


  2. I don’t think I want to be remembered as being fearful or afraid of trying new things or not living my life fully. I think that would be a waste of a good God given life..
    Thanks for the food for thought! I always look forward to these weekly devotionals Mitch!


  3. I once heard someone talk about that the important thing is what is between the dash.. ie born 1974 – 2012 Again, what did we do between birth and death?
    But, in answer to your thought-provoking question: I would NOT want on my tombstone : Here lies Susan Evers She made no difference to anyone or anything.


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