Long after you’re forgotten…

Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow.

_William Shakespeare, (Macbeth)

A few days ago I attended the funeral service of a pastor – Reverend Dorothy L. Millspaugh (1929 – 2023).

She was 93 and had lived a good life. Faithful in ministry for over 50 years as well as serving her own family.

But the truth be known, when Pastor Millspaugh died, she was mostly forgotten. As I stood there that day and looked down on the body of a lady I never knew, it all seemed rather futile and pointless – this life we live.

And if that was not enough, upon arriving back to my office I pulled her file and began to look through the official memories. One thing that stood out to me was how many State Bishops she had served under. Some I had never heard of; all of them long gone and mostly forgotten.

We speak of leaving a legacy and building something that will last, but in reality, our lives are like grass and all our deeds are like the flowers of the grass. The grass dies and the flowers fade (1 Peter 1:24).

Depressing isn’t.

But maybe not.

Just because most of us will eventually be forgotten doesn’t mean we didn’t live and what we did didn’t matter.

I don’t know who first brought the Gospel to the little town I grew up in – but I’m sure glad they did. Eventually it got to me.

I know of virtually none of the approximately 1.3 millions U.S.A. troops who have died serving our country since its founding in 1775, but I am very thankful for their sacrifice.

I don’t remember most of my teachers from elementary or high school, but today I am very thankful for the investment they made in my life.

I don’t know who invented postage stamps, rubber bands, flashlights, baseball, or ice cream – but I’m sure glad they did.

Perhaps a good question to guide our lives is this: Will what I’m doing matter even if I’m forgotten?

The ONE THING for today: Life is not so much about being remembered but about doing things that matter whether we are remembered or not.

Photo by Daniel Seßler on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “Long after you’re forgotten…

  1. Love this! It’s a clear reminder that the One we serve is why we do what we do and He we know that He is keeping the records! Thanks for your thoughts!


  2. I think our struggles with being forgotten, along with our vain attempts to leave a legacy, probably says more about the condition of our hearts than it does whether or not what we do matters. If we truly believe what we claim about eternity and everything else we proclaim about Christianity, where is there room to desire to be remembered? Where is death to self and having our identity solely in Christ? Perhaps we should consider the quote from Nikolaus Zinzendorf: “Preach the Gospel, die, and be forgotten”. Perhaps if we focused our hearts and our energy more on doing this, maybe it wouldn’t be our name people remember?

    Liked by 1 person

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