Thursday, February 2, 2017

Just In Case

I blew it. No excuses, no justification, no getting around it, I messed up.

Now let me tell you how I messed up, again not to give an excuse, just to explain the anatomy of a mess up. When my recent health crises started, I began to think of things that needed some attention.
Knowing that my upcoming surgeries would prevent me from doing things as normal with household chores, yard work, dog work, bill paying, and other odds and ends,  Pam and I got busy getting ready. The night before the big liver surgery I got to thinking there was one detail I hadn't discussed with anyone: what happens if this surgery doesn't go well? I could die and I haven't told anyone how to send me off. So I wrote a letter late the night before with funeral details, you know, just in case.

Here's where I messed up--I didn't tell Pam. I didn't want to put that on her at the last minute so I just put the letter in an envelope and stuck it in my miscellaneous drawer of my dresser and labeled it 'just in case.' I whispered its existence and location to my son just as they came to take me down for surgery. I told him of the 'just in case' letter and I knew the moment I told him I had messed up. I thought he would faint but he hung in there. Well, there were lots of complications and set-backs but I survived that surgery and another and the letter just laid in the drawer.

Then she found it while straightening and cleaning, "what's this?" she asked. "Well, I, uh, wrote out my funeral. I put in which preachers, what songs, and such." "And you didn't tell me?"

Well, like I said, I blew it. I had never written a 'just in case' letter before. I suppose if every one wrote a 'just in case' letter every one would be different. Mine focused on funeral details someone else might focus on family finances and another might say, "I'm sorry. Forgive me," and another might seek to express love to family and friends that he\she could not verbalize. If you're lucky you've said everything that needs to be said and all you have to do if tell where you hid the fortune you secreted away.

What would your 'just in case' letter contain? Maybe you should think about that, a least a little. Jesus taught that we should "not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both the soul and body in hell." (Matt. 10:28) He also told the parable of the rich farmer who had so much he had to build bigger barns to hold it all. The rich man said let's eat, drink, and be merry but Jesus said "you fool, this night your soul shall be required of you, and the things you prepared for yourself, whose will they be?" (Luke 12:20)

We need to think about our finances, final wishes, and funeral ideas and share them with loved ones. It's more important to think about what comes after that. It's one thing to mess up occasionally with your spouse by not telling them something important. It's an eternal thing to live a life that is not right with Jesus. Take care of that relationship first, you know, just in case.