For Your Consideration……..

Yesterday I went to a funeral. So today I found myself asking questions for today’s message. How do we leave this world with grace and peace?

Sometimes people leave no instructions and let those they leave behind sort it out. Others have expressed wishes and leave detailed instructions via a will with the expectation that they will be carried out. Certainly as a society we are encouraged to have a will as a way of protecting our “stuff” from the government taking too big a share. We spend a lot of time thinking about those consequences but perhaps not so much about the relationships of those we love. Yes, we have all heard stories about the “fighting” between survivors.

I can use for example my own parents. They were divorced and each had remarried and passed before their spouse. My Dad left us nothing so there was nothing to argue about. My Mom and stepfather identified specific “things” they wanted people to have and everything else was divided up between the numerous children. There was one exception, a small fund set aside from a sale from my Mom’s house, that she wanted 3 of her 4 children to split. She felt very strongly and had repeatedly expressed that one of my sisters and her husband had “cheated” her out of some money and so she was not to get “another penny”.

Now let me say that I get it. I remember the whole incident. Mom wanted to make a statement. She wanted to teach my sister and her husband a lesson. Here is the problem. Mom was gone and we were all still here.  My brother, other sister and I simply did not have the stomach for carrying out this lesson. We did not want to be a part of it.  It was not our argument to fight. So we divided the money 4 ways versus 3 ways. I don’t know if my sister ever knew of our Mom’s instructions or not. It is quite likely Mom had told her in advance and she just didn’t say anything thinking we did not know. But it does not matter. For us, our relationship with each other was the most important thing.

So what is the right thing to do? Should we carry out our loved ones expressed wishes? Should we follow our own conscience? I asked these questions today and did not get a specific answer. Instead we were given this to ponder and understand, “What is the heart of the matter?” What is the root and source of our decision? Is it rooted in love or anger? If it is rooted in love and we know in our heart that we must help our loved one learn a lesson, it is all good. But if it is rooted in anger, that is something entirely different.

Secondly, we must really think about those we are leaving behind. Do we really want to ask someone we love to clean up our mess and do our dirty work? HOPEfully, the answer to that is NO and if we are determined to do it HOPEfully we will find a neutral and unbiased party to do it for us. We have to remember that when we are gone we will not get a second chance to undo the damage. So we are asked to be very aware from where our decisions are made….the heart of the matter. We are asked to make our decisions from love and good will.

That is the HOPE. And so it is.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, HOPE by HOPE action steps anyone can take……..

-Meditate/pray…..stay true to your true self.

-Get outdoors and take in at least 10 deep breaths.

-Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in water.

-Always keep the “heart” in the matter.

What made me smile yesterday……

-Spending quality time with my Uncle Tim and cousin Karen.

-Catching up with family.

-It is always fun to go home to where you grew up and see what is the same and what has changed.

-Clear roads for lots of traveling.

-My Alex is off on her ship and speak to us one more time before it leaves today. When I got up this morning, I had one more text. Yeah.

Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Rev. Chris


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