Who will be at your funeral?
In the past, this question made me wonder how many people will be at my funeral. Will a few dozen people attend or a few hundred? Today I asked myself a very different question because of a news article I read.
A little over two weeks ago, Satoru Iwata passed away from cancer. He was the CEO of Nintendo at the time of his death and his role in the company inspired the creation of many great characters. Many fans created artwork to express their grief and pay their respects.
One piece of artwork displays characters I associate with adventure, wonder, and courage. They make great heroes in their stories. This piece of artwork struck me in the heart because it presented the idea of a funeral attended by multiple heroes.
I lingered on the image and thought about it for some time while I ate my breakfast. As I got ready for the day, the piece of art hung around in my head and I started to ask myself a question very different from how many people will attend my funeral. I wondered who will attend.
This is an important shift in questions because it reflects a difference in desire.
Wanting a great number of people to attend my funeral came from a combination of wanting to be liked and wanting to make an impact. When I saw those heroes lined up, that combination took a back seat to a desire for the respect and fellowship of heroes. I do not mean fictional characters, but real people who display heroic characteristics in their lives.
The people who attend my funeral probably won’t show up dressed as a knight in shining armor, though I encourage that when the time comes, but they might wear armor of a different sort. Ephesians 6:14-17 describes the armor of God and I know many people who wear it on a daily basis. Imagine for a second if you had the eyes to see God’s armor when you looked at people.
When you looked over a crowd, you would see men and women with shields and swords slung across their back. Plates of armor covering their chest and helmets defending their heads. These would not look like most of the cheesy halloween costumes we see either.
You would see worn down and scarred metal telling the tales of many battles. Those who wear the armor of God have to use it all the time. Arrows fall on shields of faith everyday and each of one of them are aimed directly for the heart. Countless temptations and accusations from Satan pound the chest plates of righteousness.
The more often we wear these pieces of armor, the more worn they become. That does not make them any weaker though. Instead, our faith becomes stronger and our armor becomes more comfortable to wear.
It’s kind of like breaking in a new pair of hiking boots or backpack. At first, they might feel stiff, uncomfortable, or even throw you off balance. As you wear them longer, they become more comfortable and start to feel like a natural part of your body.
I want people at my funeral who feel like the armor of God is a natural extension of themselves.
This desire should not come from my pursuit for the approval of man and it’s important for me to do a heart check on the desire from time to time. It’s easy to start with good intentions and find myself in the muck and mire of seeking other’s approval. In that case, God will bring this to my attention though and likely faster if I keep the company of heroes.
Men and women with hearts for God have the ability to keep me accountable and ask me the difficult questions. If it’s a bad idea to wonder who will attend my funeral, those men and women will point it out to me and direct me back to the right path. In either case, keeping armor bearers around is a good idea.
Do you often wear the armor of God? Do you seek the friendship and fellowship of those who do? What difference do you think it would make in your life if you did?
Feature Image Copyright: A.D. Isaac
Second Image Copyright: SoyUnGnomoby