The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. Ecclesiastes 7:4
Read: Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
Listen: Ecclesiastes 7
When someone died in ancient Israel, it was customary for family and friends to gather at the home and spend a whole week formally mourning the loss. Mourning at the house reminded them of the immanence of death and the importance of one’s legacy. The poet draws a sharp contrast between a funeral and a party and writes that while the fool only thinks about pleasure—the wise person thinks about what really matters. They consider the end and live with the end in mind. They live backwards.
Even though we have different customs around death and mourning, funerals have a way of moving us to self-reflect. We think about our loved one’s character, work ethic, impact on others and their sacrifice. We are also challenged to ask ourselves questions about life, death and what really matters. Questions like, “What will matter at my funeral? Am I making what will matter then—matter now?”
What about you? What will they remember about you at your funeral? Are you doing things now that will last? Will those at your funeral know you loved Jesus? If you’re not sure how to answer these questions, then ask yourself where your time, talents and treasure are going. These things indicate now what they will remember about you then. Choose to live backwards by making what will matter later matter to you now.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Take a few minutes and begin asking yourself, “What character traits do I want them to celebrate about me at my funeral? What do I want them to remember me for?” Once you have determined what you want them to remember you for, think about what might need to change in your life to accomplish this. Then take one step towards that. Starting today, make what will matter then matter to you now.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.