In April, 2010, my father peacefully passed from this earth into the presence of His Savior. His battle with cancer got the best of him and He gave up his fight and entered his eternal rest. I’m thankful he no longer has unbearable pain.
My dad would readily admit he has made many mistakes in his life. We could pretend those days never happened, but the fact is his alcoholism caused many scars in his life and in the lives of those he loved. He spent many years trying to overcome those days.
Because of his faith in the person of Jesus Christ, my dad finished his earthly life as a new man. He had been sober for many years and he and my mother were very happily married. He loved his children and wanted nothing more than to be with them. His grandchildren just think of him as Pa Pa, with no personal knowledge of years gone by.
My father was active in church, loved to share Scripture with others, and would help anyone who needed a hand. At the funeral, I was overwhelmed hearing what a “good man” my father was from so many people. Sometimes we don’t know a person’s impact until they are gone. (Seems sad, but it’s true.)
Perhaps this is what the writer of Ecclesiastes meant in Chapter 7, verse 1, which says, “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.”
I have learned from watching my dad’s life – finishing is better than starting and finishing well by loving God and others is the end goal of life. My father was truly prepared to die.
When I meet with people who have made mistakes in life in my role as a pastor, I am always less concerned with where they have been or what they have done wrong. I am always more concerned with where they want to go in life and how dedicated they are to get there. My dad is an example of someone who wanted to end well. I believe his legacy will continue to prove he achieved his goal.
I love you dad! Thanks for paving a good path for others to follow. Give Jesus a hug for me!
Let me close by asking a personal question.
Are you prepared to die? Do you have a personal relationship with the person of Jesus Christ?
It’s really the only way to fully finish well.