In pursuit of a life worth living – here and beyond

I attended the celebration of a man's life with a legacy of kindness. First, I listened as everyone talked about how he had impacted their lives and how much his life had inspired and influenced them. Then I meditated on the words of the various hymns we sang as we celebrated his faith and transitioned into a new life. Lastly, I listened to the preacher's message as he discussed the importance of living a good life here on earth and its influence on life afterwards. 

As I listened, as started to think about the words of Solomon and how he sums up what life is truly about in Ecclesiastes 12:13 - Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. We are encouraged to value every moment on earth and use it wisely in reverence and service to our maker. Our time on earth, however long or short, is limited, and we need to approach living with grace, purpose and wisdom. 

Teaching and after teaching in the bible encourage us to love God and love each other; beyond that, everything else pales. When you rearrange your priorities, your perspective changes. The drive for life gets a more profound meaning beyond vain fame and glory. The quest for riches goes beyond amassing wealth for yourself to finding ways to enrich others. The push for power goes beyond controlling others to serving others.  

If we learn anything from the life and death of the one we call our Lord, it's that he lived to please God and in service of humanity. When we take our eyes off ourselves, we start to see the needs around us that we can help meet. So each morning, you draw in a breath, take a moment to reflect on how you are living, then measure that against why you have been given the life you have. If we all focus more on loving God and being kind to our fellow humans, we create a pathway to having a meaningful life that transcends just the here and now - to one that enriches the lives of many and secures peace for life after.

Today we celebrated the life of Pa Tomide Oloruntoba, a distinguished gentleman whose kind words and compassionate heart blessed many people around him. You will be forever missed.

"Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
    “Everything is meaningless!”

- Ecclesiastes 12: 1-8 (NIV)