Fill in the Blank

Blank paper with penImagine having a dream about attending your own funeral. You see the people come in. You hear the music. Then you see someone get up to speak. The speaker says, “I can sum up this person’s life in just one sentence.” You lean in, anxious to her what they’re going to say about you. After a long pause, the speaker says, “They were…” But before they finish the sentence you wake up. As you sit up in bed, the one thing you want to know is…How did they finish the sentence? How did they fill in the blank?

All funerals have one thing in common. At each funeral, there will be someone who will stand up and talk about the person who died. They will use all kinds of words and tell all kinds of stories to try to sum up that person’s life, but in the end all that can all be boiled down to one statement: “They were_______.” (Fill in the blank.)

If people summed up your life that way, what would they say? How would they fill in the blank about you?

Would they say you were…

  • Loving?
  • Joyful?
  • Peaceful?
  • Patient?
  • Kind?
  • Good?
  • Faithful?
  • Gentle?
  • Disciplined?

Or would they say you were…

  • Selfish?
  • Angry?
  • Anxious?
  • Impatient?
  • Rude?
  • Questionable?
  • Unreliable?
  • Harsh?
  • Distracted?

How would people fill in the blank and sum up your life? The good thing is that as long as you’re still breathing you can still influence how people fill in the blank about your life. Pay attention to the decisions you make each day.

  • Do you watch the game or listen to your spouse?
  • Do you get the work done or play with the kids?
  • Do you stay late or have dinner with your family?
  • Do you go to the meeting or go to that school event?
  • Do you sit down, or do you roll up your sleeves and help?
  • Do you protect your interests or promote their interests?

It’s decisions like these that influence how people will fill in the blank and sum up your life.

Like it or not, someone is going to sum up your life with the words, “They were _______.” What would you like for them to say? What are you doing that would help that? What are you doing to hurt that? What are you doing to fill in the blank? 

There’s another level to all of this…

In Galatians 5:22-23 there is a list of things for which we all would like to be remembered. The cool thing is these things have already been deposited in our account if we’re believers. We just have to draw upon them and apply them. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, the power and ability to fill in the blank well can be ours. Check it out.

What words do you hope people will use to sum up your life? 

Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg

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