In Sunday School, this sweet older gentleman that I just love, related the following story.
A religious man was invited to the home of a very wealthy acquaintance. He got there and looked around at all the amazing and beautiful things. As they wandered through the house looking at all this man had acquired he finally asked, "To what do you attribute all that you have?" At which the wealthy man said, "Me. I have done all of this. I have worked hard for everything you see here."
Then this sweet man finished this story with this comment, "You know, that rich man will eventually wind up in the same place we pretty much all do. The dimensions are about 6 feet long by 2 feet wide."
Now there are of course two striking parallels for this story.
The first being, that the wealthy man attributed everything he had to himself. I'm not saying he didn't work hard, or have a lot of intelligence. But the ability to work hard, having intelligence, being a good manager of money, etc. are all gifts from God. Sometimes not having those gifts is also a great mercy from God.
I'll be honest, if I had a great body, I would be awfully tempted to flaunt it. If I had a lot of money, I would find lots of frivolous things to waste it on. So God has graciously saved me from having those issues!
The second notion in this story is that we will all eventually be put in the same place, a nearly 7 foot by 2 1/2 foot box, or perhaps a pretty urn. No matter what we have earned, or attained to in this life!
The interesting thing is, you can shove an awful lot of love in a heart, a ton of knowledge in a brain, and a boatload of soul in a person and it never changes their size or shape!
So when we leave this life and eventually report back to our Maker, He will want to take a tour of us and see all that we did with what He gave us.
Did we fill the vastness of our mind with His word? Did we put in good books, and words of wisdom? Did we learn all that we could learn and did we take care of the brain we were given?
How about our hearts? Did we fill them up with love for others, or only ourselves? Did we have them stretched by loving our children or spouse or friends, even when they weren't very loveable? Did we turn away from or reach out to those who were different, unkempt, challenging, or weird? Did we help even when we weren't sure we had the time to give or the means? Was our heart filled with love for others?
Did we fill our souls with goodness and light? Did we accept the whisperings of the Spirit when we needed to change and try to make those changes? Were we humble enough to recognize the gifts we were given and do something with them? Were we filled with the love of God and let that spill out to others?
So what size coffin will you have? Probably about the same size as most everyone else. But it doesn't really matter, because what's in it isn't really what's in it.
Let's all go out and fill up our hearts, minds and spirits and make them beautiful palaces to visit and share with others, because that is what we will take with us.