A Stone of Remembrance

When I was about 6 yrs. old my Father took me with him when he went to the local garage to get our old car repaired. It was not long after World War 2 and what is called “The Great Depression” here in the States, gas had been rationed and things were tough, but Dad had gotten a steady job and had more money than he had in the past.

 

After the mechanic finished the work he told Dad the cost. When he told Dad the price my Dad exclaimed, “Is that all? Seems like it should be more!” The mechanic said, “No, that’s all, I’m not interested in being the richest man in the cemetery.”

Just this past Saturday I was at the local flea market where I occasionally rent a booth. At one end of my table I had a sign that said “free.” A middle-aged couple stopped by my table to look at a few things. I told them they were free. They exclaimed, “You can’t do that!” I said, “Yes, I can, I don’t care about being the richest man in the cemetery.” Guess what? That brought about a conversation about what was really important in life; relationships. I then very simply said that the most important relationship we can have is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. (That ended our conversation, but before they left they actually gave me a couple of dollars for some of the free items they took.)

That evening as I was reflecting on that conversation it brought to my mind a tombstone I read on one of my cemetery walks. It said, “Friend, where you stand today, so I once stood; where this body lies today, yours, too, someday must lie; prepare to meet they God.” But you know, I’ve never read a tombstone that listed all the riches the person had acquired.

I am reminded of the words of Job who lived in the land of Uz. The Bible tells us that he had great possessions so that he was the greatest man among all the men in the East. (Job 1:3) After he had lost everything including the death of his children, He got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshipped and said; “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither; the LORD gave and the LORD hath taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” Then there was Solomon who is known as the wisest and richest man the world has ever known said: “Whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them…..then I looked on all my labor that I had labored to do and behold all was vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 9-11.) We should not forget the words of the Apostle Paul who said: “But whatsoever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…” (Philippians 1:7-8)