After spending a long weekend enjoying the warmth of Florida, the remaining days of my family vacation served a different purpose. My wife’s father bought a condo back in the 1990’s when her brother JD was pursuing a career as a professional golfer. Following my marriage proposal to Leanne, I spent a winter living in Florida with JD to fulfill my own dream. With the passing of Jim Wagner last fall, it was time to clean out everything that has accumulated over the past 25 years. Before putting this property on the market, sorting through what was left behind was necessary and to my surprise like hearing voices from the grave.
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, James 2:26.
When death separates the living from the deceased, one of the few things you have remaining are the memories of your time together on earth. Two of my visits to Oldsmar, Florida were business trips, serving as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media. One of the perks of this job was playing golf for free along with a photographer. Thus, Jim and Leanne took turns helping me, saving several hundreds of dollars in greens fees in the process. While going through a closest I found several hats, a golf shirt and score cards from these memorable rounds of golf. Upon seeing these items, it was like hearing Jim’s voice again saying, “thanks for a great round!”
And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead,” Matthew 8:22.
The hardest part about coping with death is letting go. Some mourning individuals create a memorial in their homes with letters, pictures or clothing worn by this loved one. Meanwhile, deadly accidents have crosses or wreaths to remind you of the fallen. Yet, at some point you have to move on. During a discussion with potential candidates, Jesus urged eager disciples to let the dead bury their own dead. Jesus isn’t trying to be cruel or harsh. Essentially, Jesus is commanding his followers to focus on the living, those near you who need your help. Therefore, if you want to leave your own legacy take Jesus’ advice so that your actions may serve as voices from the grave after you are gone.
by Jay Mankus