Yesterday, Bunmi and I attended the burial ceremony of a wealthy woman, Madam Olorunsogo. During the funeral service, someone asked in a half whisper how much she had left.
‘Hmmmm. She left everything!’, Someone replied. I smiled.
Last week, I bought a book, The Last Wishes of Alexander the Great, from The Booksellers. Amazing book.
On his death bed, Alexander (Greek King of Ancient Maccedon) summoned his Generals and told them his three ultimate wishes:
1) The best doctors should carry his coffin
2) The wealth he had accumulated should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery and
3) His hands should be let loose, hanging outside the coffin for all to see
One of the Generals who was surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain.
Here is what Alexander the Great had to say:
I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that in the face of death even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal.
I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth stays on earth.
I want my hands to swing in the wind so that people understand that we come into this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed.
Death is a subject many people do not want to discuss but it is one of those inevitable things that must be confronted- like it or not.
As much as some men would think that they can ‘cheat’ death, they cannot. There is no fountain of youth or anti-aging pill to extend life. There is no scientific means of preventing death. NOTHING. Let’s just face reality and spend our time preparing for it.
Paul wasn’t wrong to advice us to set our minds on things that are above, not things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2).
If we cannot live forever, if we cannot take our earthly possessions with us when we die, and if we cannot return to this earth after we die, for what possible reason would we spend our entire lives in the pursuit of earthly things- power, positions and possessions.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 sums it up. Godliness with contentment is great gain. I would not exchange anything of this absolute greatness for the relative greatness that this world brags about. Contentment does not come from poverty and I am not commending poverty itself, but a simplicity of lifestyle compatible with human dignity.
We leave everything behind. That is the perspective that should influence us if we are gripped by it- and we should be. It does not matter how long I live, short or long, but when I die I will live my possessions behind. They are all baggage of time. They are not the stuff of eternity. So travel light.
These days, I choose to view the world with little real interest. I do know that I will one day die, and though I do not wish it, I have come to accept it.
I try to see every day as my last. Every day, I try to be kinder and more compassionate. Every day, I try to be a better person and to be less desiring, less hating and less judging of others. This is the way I have chosen to live. This is the lesson I choose to learn from Alexander.
If peace and plenty crown my days
They help me, Lord, to speak thy praise.
If bread of sorrows be my food,
These sorrows work my lasting good.
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
This is the day that the Lord had made.
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Posted on September 27, 2014, in Dear Jesus and tagged Eternal Life, Godly living. Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.
Except we have eternity in view,Alexander’s lesson will not profit d reader.Do we know dat one day we will stand before d Righteous Judge to give account of our deeds done on earth,whether good or bad?Do we know dat God’s righteous judgement will give to each person according to what he has done(Romans 2:5,6)?Do we know dat d apostles of old are mere men like us nd will be judged like us without favouritism?Brethren,work out ur salvation with fear nd trembling!
@Sunday…i like ur comment.That should be d end of discussion for Alexander’s lesson.A word is enough for d wise! Christians,i beg you to always have eternity in view.It will help to prioritize our life as pilgrims on earth.What will it really profit me to gain d whole world nd lose my soul?Having given every believer d opportunity to sit on thrones,why won’t i pay d price nd sit on one?Self-denial is d key!
Too much food,too much sleep nd too much lusting after things/the opposite sex,will lead us to spiritual poverty.Are we not disciples…disciplined followers of our Master who alone is worthy?A life of discipline is recommended.But we must pay d cost for discipleship.
What i can’t understand is why a sane person would want to shed an innocent blood in order to acquire wealth or power dat is transient….is it insanity or sheer wickedness.To think dat a man or a woman will sacrifice d wife/husband,children or other loved ones on satanic altar for money,position or power.It is eerie nd beyond comprehension.The heart of man indeed is’desperately’wicked.
I think it is insanity….nd this is d same blood money dat Nigerian babes crave for,not minding d source…as long as they can enjoy d ‘good’things of this condemned world.
Some of our men are sucking d breast of d Asaba goddess(Ala nwanyi Asaba)to get rich.That is how low men have debased themselves….reprobate minds!!!
Ezar,how are you?U read so wide.I know dat ur students have imbibed ur reading habit/culture.Goodnite.
Very inspiring!Ezar,ur posts are life-changing…short nd to d point,highlighting d scriptures.To God be all d glory.
My Bible tells me dat d wealth of sinners is laid up for d righteous who will finance d gospel.I look forward to this time wen money will change hands….the real money/wealth transfer dat our banks project.We just occupy until it happens…soon nd very soon!
Yes,i also look forward to that time.However,i believe money transfer will be for consecrated hands dat will not misuse the money,but use it to further d gospel of Christ for d last day great harvest.
My Father,may ur kingdom come nd rule over Nigeria,under d dominion of Mammon.Lord,the Nigeria system is so corrupt.We live in a time wen we no longer do anything for nothing,,,there must be something nd dat thing is money.Kind gesture/help has been monetized,service has been monetized.Wen u don’t have d money nd just say ‘thank you’,countenance is changed.Some will be bold to tell u,’no bi thank you we go chop’ or ‘nothing goes for nothing’.Thank you is no longer appreciated..u must drop something or u are frustrated along d line.O Lord,save us….Hosanna!
@Obinna…na waooo.Nigeria don change.Cry my beloved nation.We need a quick divine intervention.Its no longer what do we give,but what do we get in return.
I thank God for d privilege to give.The hand of a giver is always on top of a receiving hand.This is d truth dat those who are always on d receiving end do not know….they keep givers on top or above them.That’s why it is written dat it is more blessed to give than to receive.I’ll keep giving….nd will always remain on top!