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Nothing Lasts Forever

June 22, 2011

My family just returned from our big annual summer trip. Most summers, we go to visit my lovely bride’s family in her native Canada. This time, the main part of our trip was still spent with her family, but we all met at a central location here in the U.S. On our way, we stopped for a few days with my grandfather. Sometime, I want to write more about him and what a great man he is.

Two years ago my parents were planning to go with us on our big summer trip to Canada. From the time Cathy and I were married they had wanted to go. As we were preparing to make the trip, my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive, malignant brain tumor. She had surgery and we made our trip without them. During a telephone conversation with Mom after we returned, I tried to encourage her in her therapy. I told her we wanted her to get better so she could go with us the next summer. She told me she already had her next trip planned. She told me her nest trip would be to Heaven. Just a few weeks later my mother took her final journey and went to meet her Savior.

While we were visiting my grandfather, I went to visit my mother’s grave. It has been almost two years since her death and this is the first time I have been back. It was very difficult.

One of the reasons I wanted to go back was to see the memorial my dad had placed at her grave. I look at that monument and I think of it as a fitting, permanent tribute to her. That large piece of granite will last forever. Or will it.

As I take a quick look around in the same cemetery, I see other pieces of granite and marble that loving family members have placed at the graves of loved ones. I am sure they thought those monuments would last forever. On many of them, the names and dates can hardly be distinguished. Some have totally crumbled into a pile on the ground. No monument lasts forever. Or does it?

In 1 Corinthians 3:12-14, the apostle Paul writes: “12 Anyone who builds on that foundation [identified in verse 11 as Jesus Christ] may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

The real monument to someone’s life is the legacy they leave behind. The faith of their children. The fruit of their ministry. The trappings of this life will burn away. The things of spiritual value last for eternity. Nothing lasts forever – not the things of this life.

What will be your legacy? Are you building a monument of eternal things?

  1. Great post. Glad to have you all back.

  2. Dang it, John Collier. You made me cry. 🙂

  3. Jeanette Thompson permalink

    Your Mama was a great lady my friend! Loved the post. Your always good with words!

  4. wjcollier3 permalink

    Bro. Joe, thanks! I appreciate your support and encouragement!

    Liz, I consider it one of my chief responsibilities. Make Liz cry!

    Jeanette, Thanks for your kind words. Towards me and Mom.

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