Who hasn’t asked this question,“Will they remember me when I’m gone?”
The question haunts all of us. I often feel like I am surrounded by people constantly bothered by that question so they are frightened and fighting incredibly hard for relevance. I am one of them I must confess. The question implies that we should have “worth” if we are to be remembered. There is great truth to that feeling.
When watching the movie Troy (2004), the cheesiest line but perhaps the most important one is the war call from Achilles,
“Do you know what’s there, waiting beyond that beach? Immortality, take it, it’s yours!”
Achilles knows well that the battle he fights is not about that day but for ages to be told. Odysseus in the movie goes further,
“Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?”-Odysseus
*Disclaimer folks, these are great sensationalized Hollywood lines and not pulled from Homer’s The Odyssey. Be nice to me because we can still learn from them.
My father recently took our family to go visit our grandfather’s tombstone at Jefferson Barracks outside of St. Louis. It was Memorial Day so we were honoring his life and service for our country. It is safe to say that hundreds of years from now that tombstone will continue to be there. I’m sure my grandfather would be proud knowing that we continue to visit his grave to remember his sacrifice. I imagine also that my other deceased relatives appreciate us remembering their lives.
There is a deeper part of this question we must examine. It isn’t just being remembered on a tombstone, a memorial, or in a biography.
It hit me about 10 years ago when I was a Young Life leader and I was talking to one of my students who just accepted Christ. He told me, “Chi Chi (my nickname), I just love that my name is now written in God’s book.” I learned more from him about eternity than a thousand theologians. This Psalm sums it up,
“your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16
We may be haunted by the vastness of eternity but be confident that according to this above promise, we are written permanently into His book.