Small Town News


Fertile Ground by Pastor Connie Day of Little Church in the Pines

Island Park News of Island Park, Idaho

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I had the privilege last week of conducting a funeral service for long-time Island Park resident, Maxine Saury. Often, funerals are sad occasions; but mixed with the sadness of Maxine's passing, there was a great spirit of joy and celebration as we remembered her life. Maxine lived a long and full life, and we were glad to be a part of it. Many friends and family members were present to honor Maxine. Stories were told during and after the funeral, and there was a great deal of laughter mixed in with tears as we recalled the life that Maxine lived. She was admired and loved by many, and will not be forgotten.

As people were telling stories about Maxine, I found myself wondering what stories might be told about me after I die. I hope that there will be some good memories, some good laughs, and not too many stories that reveal my "less-than-stellar" moments. It's been said that in the story of one's life, everyone has at least one chapter that they would prefer not tc read aloud. I hope that people are gracious when they tell their stories about my life. I know that there have been things I have said and done that I regret. I am thankful for the grace and mercy of God that enables me to stand up and keep living, despite the times when I have fallen.

Funerals always get my attention. I know that this life does not go on forever. I know that one day the funeral will be mine. At each funeral I attend, I dedicate myself to living the life that God has given me to live and doing the things that God is calling me to do.

I want to live my life in a way that honors God. I want to make a difference in this world. I want others to see the love of Christ and the grace of God in me. I know that I often fall short of the goal, but I am thankful for God's presence, which always calls me forward and enables me to stand up and try again.

I hope that my words bring hope and encouragement to others, at least sometimes. I hope that my actions reveal the love that God has for each and every one. I hope that my failures don't get in the way, causing others to think that God is like me in my worst moments.

I don't know what stories will be told at my funeral, but I know that it partly depends on how I live my life. What legacy will you leave behind? How will people remember you? The stories that will be told are the stories that we write each day as we live our lives.

My prayer, as I think about these things, comes from Psalm 19:14. "May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

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Original Publication Date: October 8, 2015

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