Will your kids be rich or poor when you die?

Written by:  Amy Dalke

I often remind myself about my eulogy.

Mostly because money matters to me…but I can’t take it with me when I die.

If you think that sounds too superficial for a Jesus blog…well, it probably is. (But rest assured, I’m not saying anything he doesn’t already know…so we’re good.)

This eulogy discussion is decidedly strange, given that I am not yet dead. Yet now that I think about it, if I were dead,  I would no longer feel the need to wonder what everyone was saying about me at the funeral. I am a control freak, though, so I want to make sure to give my eulogizer some good material to work with.

Not really. (What I mean is, I am a control freak, but that’s not the point of the story today.)

Thinking about my eulogy helps me to focus on the things in life that matter most. If I ask myself what story I want this life of mine to tell, then the extraneous nonsense of the next 24 hours suddenly takes a backseat. The incidental annoyances don’t matter so much.

The day to day becomes more intentional, and time is used on purpose.

The stress and striving and struggling of the daily routine seem terribly unnecessary when I view life from the end, looking backwards.

Because when I consider the legacy I want to leave, it doesn’t involve money, property/possessions, or societal status. It doesn’t read like a warning label “Kids, let this be a lesson that you should (or should not)_________.”

Rather, I hope to pass on a legacy of faith…

…a faith that dares to believe, even when worldly logic screams otherwise.

….a faith that can settle into the darkest moments of a trial – and know without a doubt that this Hard Place will serve to make them stronger and wiser.

…a faith that believes God is able and willing to perform whatever he said that he could and would…

…a faith that looks fear right between the eyes, and then does that scary thing anyway…

I want the future generations in my family to inherit a love for the holy scripture*, and a desire to store up God’s word in their hearts and in their minds.

None of this will automatically happen.

To pass down such an estate, my life must be purposefully lived in that direction…on a daily basis. I can’t just include these intentions in a will, to be handed out by my attorney at a probate hearing.

My dad and I recently had a conversation about death and funerals and inheritance. I swear we aren’t creepy like the Addams Family [cue the theme music], or anything like that. Dad is a retired pastor, and he’s been working for a funeral home for the past year. So, this is basically what we discuss when we talk about his work. (On second thought, maybe that is a little weird.)

Nonetheless, he and I got into a discussion about how the size of one’s bank account doesn’t make a difference at all once they’ve passed on from this earth. It doesn’t matter one lick if you have spent your entire life trying to “get ahead” (or far, far ahead, for that matter). Your net worth won’t be meaningful to your score at the end of the game. (Your score won’t affect anything either, by the way.) Awards are not handed out for the size of the financial inheritance your family will (or will not) receive once you’re gone.

The investments that do matter (the eternal kind) are the ones we deposit into the lives of those we love. They come in the form of memories shared, time spent, values taught, traditions made, affirmations spoken, kindness practiced.

I’ll be honest. (Since you hope I am all the time, right?)…I do buy into the eternal investment thing…but it’s so much easier for me to focus on keeping score with the neighbors.

Which is why I often remind myself about my eulogy…

…so that hopefully (prayerfully), I will invest my life in what I value most, so that our children and their children and the generations to come…will reap the benefits of an inheritance that lasts.

(Because really….I don’t want my child or grandchild to grow up and be a spoiled rich kid with a lame reality show or something like that.)


*I almost hesitated to include this line, since I thought it might draw attention to my Memory Verse Post Failure. Yes…about that. I did overlook it this month, and I am sincerely sorry. But I am a tad OCD about such things like getting off balance on the calendar, so please…if you don’t mind, could we have a do-over in March? Thanks.