It’s Easter weekend, the one time of year most Christians collectively focus on tombs — well, one tomb in particular.
We know that after He was crucified and died, Jesus’s body was laid in a borrowed tomb and a stone was rolled over the entrance. Three days later the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty.
Tombs also figure prominently in Matthew 23, where Jesus criticizes the scribes and Pharisees for being whitewashed tombs — appearing clean on the outside, but filthy on the inside.
All of this talk of tombs has me pondering the question: What would I want on my tombstone? (Disclaimer: I wish to be cremated not buried, but as I won’t be present in this world, it’s not really my call.)
I like Hunter S. Thompson’s idea:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!'”
The reality is, we’re not here all that long. Life IS short, and there is so much to do. As I was moving toward the finish line of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon I played the song, I Lived,” about 100 times. The words of the One Republic song strike a chord with me:
“I did it all/I owned every second that this world could give/Saw so many places, the things that I did/With every broke bone I swear I lived.”
I also over-played Meatloaf’s “Alive” in honor of the guy in whose honor I was running the marathon. The words may seem antithetical to a blog post about epitaphs, but the words still rock:
“I’m still alive/Must have been a miracle/It’s been a hell of ride/Destination still unknown, it’s a fact of life.”
I want a life defined by love, gratitude, a strong marriage, wonderful friends, adventure, getting my hands dirty, taking risks, flying by the seat of my pants. I want to live a life that makes an impact for the better — not on the entire world but on my little corner of it.
I want people to know that I was carrying the fire.
When this life is over, whether on my tombstone or on the plaque in the columbarium at church, I’d like the following words to be true:
“I had a wonderful time. Thanks for everything.”