Turn out the lights, the party’s over!
As I was driving the other day in the car I heard a familiar refrain from my teenage years come across the airwaves. No, it wasn’t Bon Jovi or Huey Lewis crooning out some rock ballad, it was one of my favorite sports announcers poorly singing, “Turn out the lights the party’s over!”
Now, he was singing it as a close to a game that the home team had solidified with a winning basket, but my mind immediately connected a whole bunch of thoughts (minds tend to do that) and began to think about when I checked out of this life and entered into eternity. Not in a morbid, brooding, foreboding way, but more of a I wonder what that will be like? My mind then shifted to those I would leave behind, and I began to wonder what they might say or think about me. Will they miss me? Will they say I was a good man, a great man…just a man? Then I realized that at that point not only would it not matter to me what they thought, but even if it did there wasn’t anything I could do to change it. This next thought is what really made my mind come alive,
“What if I lived my life in reverse? Start with what I want people to think about me, remember me for, and miss me for; and then live in such a way to achieve that end result!”
In other words, if you want people to remember you as a great husband/wife, start doing things that will make you a great husband/wife. If you want to be idolized as the dad of all dads or mom of all moms, you better start spending a whole lot more time with your kids. If you want to be remembered as a great spiritual mentor, you better start mentoring people…I think you get the picture.
The bottom line: Once the lights are out, the party is truly over. And whatever people think about you won’t change, but as long as the lights are on there’s still time!