When I was a little boy I was afraid of motorcycles. I could hear them coming and run for my life. My Uncle Donald had a Honda Gold Wing and had to ride around the block before coming to my grandma’s house so I would have time to run inside.
Donald knew this would never work so he set out to introduce me to his motorcycle. He was very patient with me and showed me everything about it. He let me help clean it. He let me push on it and see how sturdy it was. He started it and let me watch him take a ride around the block. Eventually, he let me try on the helmet and sat me on the bike. I didn’t cry. Then he told me to hold on tight as we started our tour of Birmingham.
That day, I rode around the city to several places from the heat of the day to the cool of night. Mostly, i remember him taking me to visit family that day. I came back with two things; a terrible head cold and a memory that will last forever.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV)
Paul says the time of his departure is at hand as he writes the final letter in his ministry. He’s okay with knowing his death was immenent because he did all he could for God and left a legacy behind for others to follow.
Today i shared this story as I eulogized my uncle Donald who lost a battle with lung cancer at the young age of 54. His time of departure from this life has come and gone, but just like Paul he has left a legacy. Our family members have countless stories that begin with “do you remember the time Donald…”
Remember the time he played the piano while we sang Christmas carols? Remember the time he showed up unannounced and we all grilled out? Remember the time he made us all laugh until we cried? We are all blessed with memories that bring us joy, but now we must do our part to make a lasting legacy with the time we have left.
If Donald could speak to us today he would tell us life is too short to waste it being angry with one another. It doesn’t last long enough to hold grudges. It’s more fulfilling to share life with others. It’s more blessed to give than to receive and horde things to ourselves. He would tell us to make our time count. Touch the lives of others. Give expecting nothing in return. Make memories that will last long after you’re gone.