What Will Come to Their Mind When You . . .

Andy Griffith died today. A little piece of Americana has passed on. I watched a lot of Andy Griffith. I am not talking about that new fangled color TV stuff like Matlock, but the old black and white Andy Griffith Show. I not only have seen every episode, but probably every episode twenty or more times, and that probably puts me in the same company as tens of millions of Americans.

Remembering Andy Griffith just kind of makes one smile, especially if you are over 40. His show was funny. I mean really funny. There were shows that were touching. Most of all the show was just built on realness: real people living real life. They actually looked like us and lived in places like we lived. It was never crude or off color. It was never inappropriate. There are good shows today, shows I enjoy, but one can barely get through an episode without thinking at least once, “That really wasn’t appropriate,” or I wish my kids did not see that.” I am guessing this generation would struggle a little to enjoy The Andy Griffith Show. The shows they have been raised on have so much more edginess, high drama, speed and technology. The Andy Griffith Show was actually kind of slow. Have you watched an episode lately? No huge mystery or conflict to resolve. They sit on the porch, a lot. One show was about a broken washing machine. “Just call the man!” But it was good. Andy Griffith reminds us of good things and good times.

We don’t usually travel more than several months without a significant American personality dying: Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcet, Ronald Reagan, Steve Irwin, Tim Russert, Dale Earnhardt, Christopher Reeve, Walter Cronkite; and no doubt we are
not done this year. When these people die they remind us of something. We think of their contribution, what they did, maybe an event. I am not going anywhere original with this. What do you want people to remember, to think of when they hear that you have passed. What emotion would you want them to experience?

We don’t think a lot about the end? We prefer not to think about the end. And yet, overwhelming scientific research says we all have one. We are all moving toward an end. Everybody dies! For most of us it will not be announced on cable news. There will not be any documentaries in the days and weeks that follow. But there will be people who hear that we passed and instantly a thought, a memory, an emotion wells up. What would you hope it would be? What do you want them to say? Start living that right now. Live right now what you hope your mate would say. Live it right now what you would want your kids to say. Live it right now what you want people who matter to you to say.

Okay, now here comes the big one. What will God say? What will God think?

And just as it is appointed for people to die once – and after this, judgment . . .
– Hebrews 9:27

How do we live any amount of time ignoring this great reality? The evidence pours in every day. Athletes, scientists, entertainers, political leaders, the rich and famous, and people just like you and me – they die. Every single day they die. Let’s live with the end in mind.

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