Life is short. This past weekend my wife’s stepfather passed away unexpectedly. His name was Ray and he was a good, no great man.
Attending a funeral really puts life into perspective, and it makes one think about what is important and what is essential. Death can happen so quickly and then life on this earth is done. I don’t mean for this to be a downer, but it is beneficial to consider the end every so often and then base actions and attitudes accordingly.
Here are a few major points that I have pondered over the last 36 hours.
1. Decisions matter.
Every decision we make has a consequence. It may be great or it may be devastating, but every single decision we choose to act on has a positive or a negative for our life or someone else’s life in the not-too-distant future. So choose wisely.
2. Do the right thing.
Since decisions do matter, it is crucial to always do the right thing. Even those petty things that we think have no bearing usually have a “right” or “wrong” attached to them. Train yourself to go for the “right” action, even when it is difficult. It will help you sleep better at night and when it comes our time to go, those we leave behind won’t have to clean up any mess of poor decisions.
3. Be ready to go.
I don’t think any of us will ever be ready to go, but there will come a moment in time when it will all be over. Think about your family and get your records, finances, and insurance in order. More importantly, get your eternity in order. Our days on earth may be over, but eternity will just be getting started and there are only two places to go. Matthew 7:13-27 definitely comes to mind.
4. Who you are is bigger than how much you have.
Ray certainly was not the richest man in town, but he was certainly loved by many! Prov. 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Whatever money he had cannot be taken to eternity, but his sweet spirit and gracious smile will definitely be what I remember him by.
So, how in the world does all this fit in with studying? Well, I would definitely argue that the decisions you make outside the classroom matter big time. Decisions on whether or not to study right after class to decisions on how you treat other people--all matter and all have consequences. I also encourage you to do the right thing. Be a student of Excellence and you won’t have to cheat or take shortcuts. Follow The 4 Study Steps in your studying and you will be ready to go on any test or pop quiz the professor wants to give. Being a student of Excellence and integrity will give you a good name, and having a good name is definitely bigger than having a good grade.
Ray, thanks for being wonderful! Thanks for living a life we could celebrate. Thanks for reminding us of what is truly important. We will always have pleasant memories of you and are saddened by our loss.