It all ends the same way
November 13,2022 Luke 21:5-19
“All that you see here--
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
While Jesus goes on to describe the destruction, betrayal and violence that ensues with the end of time, it was the first verse that reminded me of a funeral I recently attended.
I had traveled to India to be with my family, and was at the wake and funeral of a loved one. The wake was at home and lasted about 12 hours and was followed by the funeral which took about 4 hours. All I kept thinking during this time and at the gravesite was, “so that’s it.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement. I repeated this to a family member a couple times until she said in a frustrated tone, ”what exactly were you expecting?” I wasn’t expecting anything, but this person who had died had accomplished so much while he was alive. He had worked hard for an education, raised a family, wrote books, ran a university, produced movies, helped so many people improve their lot in life, and then at the end he died like everyone else before him. His life was so eventful and yet his death, in a way, seemed uneventful.
A friend texted me a few weeks later and said that as long as the person had enjoyed his time on earth doing things he found enjoyable that was what life was all about. I responded with a thumbs up sign because I didn’t agree; it seemed a rather empty sort of life.
Another person suggested that his children, his kindness and his generosity were his legacy that would continue to put goodness into the world.
I do know that life comes to an end, whether we’re just a regular person or someone well-known to others. It all ends, it’s all fleeting. All the worrying I do about future events: where the kids will go to college, are we saving enough for retirement, what will happen in the next presidential election, climate change, it will all come to pass whether I’m worrying about it or not. I can do my part to try and solve my problems and issues, but the continued worrying and anxiety only waste my time. Life ends and yet the world goes on. Eventually, my death will be as uneventful as everyone else’s.