Most people have never seen a moving truck in a funeral procession. And there’s a simple reason why. You can’t take it with you!
Consider Skip. He started out in life with nothing but a broken home filled with stress. He would often sit alone and daydream about growing up to be a big wealthy man in town. Eventually, Skip joined the Coast Guard. After years of service and living frugally, he separated from the service and struck out on his own. He had become skilled at operating and maintaining small craft boats.
He took his savings and purchased an old tugboat off the coast of Maine, restored it, and put it in service in Boston harbor. One boat became a small fleet of boats on the east coast.
One day he met a young lady, a bank teller, and the rest is history. Their first child was a beautiful baby girl who they named Angel. He also named his boat, “Angel” in her honor. Angel grew and became the sister to six hearty brothers. Skip grew a large family and a thriving business.
He gave his family opportunities he never had. But he left the raising of the children completely to his wife. He was a “big” man with important things to do. His large, growing family eventually moved away with loving memories of their mom, but very little of their Father. After 40 years of marriage, his dear wife died, and with her the love that held the family together.
Standing at her graveside, Skip grieved with their children. Wanting to console them, he made an uncomfortable attempt to be Dad. He wasn’t warmly accepted.
The reality was that he was a stranger to his own family. Later at home, he sat and listened quietly as his family retold many stories about their mom. They laughed, cried, and comforted one another but he was completely ignored. The next day they went their separate ways and Skip was left truly alone. Years later, when his time came, he found himself in a critical care home totally alone with nothing but time to think.
“I had a good life,” He thought, “but now my beloved wife is gone, my children and businesses are gone. What is left for me? Nothing.”
Jesus said, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NLT)
Suddenly, a life lived for gain had become a life wasted, gaining nothing of eternal value.
Later that fall, Skip’s daughter, his Angel, rode with her granddaughter in a car behind her Father’s hearse. She noticed a concerned look on her granddaughter’s face and asked, “What’s wrong honey?”
The little girl looked up and said, “Wasn’t Great Grandpa rich?
“Yes honey, very rich,” her Grandmother replied.
“Then where are the trucks?” the little girl asked.
“What trucks?” Grandmother asked.
“The trucks with Great Grandpa’s stuff!” She replied.
“Moving trucks in a funeral procession?
“Yes, Great Grandpa had a huge house full of stuff.” She giggled.
Grandmother gently put her arm around the little girl, and spoke softly, “He can’t take it with him.”
“Oooh,” said the little girl. So he can only take those of us in the cars?
Her Grandmother looked at the hearse, and said quietly, “You missed it, Dad, we are the things you could take to heaven with you and you didn’t try. You missed it.”
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5 NKJV)
If Skip could live his life over, surely he would give more attention to the people in the cars rather than the moving trucks that are not in the funeral procession.
Copyright © Gene Markland, used with permission.