I went to a wake and the deceased pastor friend of mine lied in a state of coma for a long time before The Lord took him. It became a sobering thought for me. Many of Life’s greatest lessons for me did not come from seminars or lectures, they all came from wakes and funerals.
When you go to parties your brain is parked on the parking lot. But when you go to funerals you come face to face with death? Actually no. You come face to face with the realities of life.
Here are my thoughts.
I don’t like to end my life with a comma (pun intended). A comma signifies an incomplete task. A sentence is not complete as it ends with a comma.
I want my life to end with a period. When my work on earth is done. It’s when I have finished the race and completed the task that God has called me to do.
Some people end their life with an exclamation point. All the toil and labor and all the things accumulated throughout their lifetime only to discover that they would not fit in their coffins.
Others end their life with a big question mark. Is this all there is to it?
My friend Larry Almeda experienced an accident in a chopper ride that malfunctioned. Fortunately he got away with some broken bones and scratches but in this experience he said something significant. He said, “In a helicopter that is about to crash, there is no time to pray.
How do you see yourself in the very last day of your life?
When people ask me how I would like to go when it’s time for me to depart, I said I would like to go out in style. Doing what I love doing and that is speaking in public. Can you imagine the kind of impact that speech would have made?
What a grand finale wouldn’t it be?
On March 12, 2011; I was invited to an interview for a cable channel program.
The very charming Dina Loomis and husband Bruce were part of the panel. Raju Mandarayan took on the job of interviewer. We were laughing and enjoying each other both oncam and offcam. Right in the middle of the interview and when I was the one speaking, the 79 year old Brooks just gave out a heavy sigh, slid in his chair, gave up his last breadth and went home to be with The Lord. And the camera was still rolling.
Dina remained calm and strong and still a faithful witness of Jesus even during her husband’s final moments was still sharing the love and importance of being in Christ to everyone including the hospital workers.
I saw the doctors worked on Brooks. I saw how they injected the medicine, used the fibrillator to no avail. Science fails after all and is impotent in the light of God’s Sovereign will.
Driving to my next appointment from the hospital I prayed and worshipped. God gave me the impression that heaven applauded when Brooks entered Jesus’ Presence. You know what? Through the tears in my eyes I smiled and said, Bruce beats us all to the punch. He had his grand finale. Not many speakers could have that.
Before the interview, Brooks shook my hands and said how honored he is to be on the same interview. That caught me by surprise such that my flimsy return on the compliment paid sounded empty an unappealing. Today I want to say that sitting beside such a humble person adorned with such great accomplishments points to one realization; that I am truly the one who is honored.
Brooks is in a better place today and enjoying the Presence of God.
What a fitting finale for one who has been faithful.
I wish I would too.