ASHES TO ASHES, FLUSH TO FLUSH
The Soul Anchor [Hebrews 6:19] - June 1, 2023
Because it is appointed each man once to die, we are constantly hearing about the deaths of both friends and famous people. As I’m writing this the deaths of Music Celebrity Tina Turner and Pastor and Author Tim Keller were recently announced and there are all sorts of stories remembering them in various ways.
A few years ago a man by the name of Tom McDonald went on a mission to remember his friend in a unique way. His goal was to flush the cremated ashes of a lifelong friend down toilets at as many professional baseball stadiums as he can.
McDonald told the New York Times that it’s a fitting tribute for his friend Roy Riegel. The two were childhood friends in New York and fans of the Mets. In case you didn’t know, the Mets stadium is located in Flushing, New York. Like baseball, this endeavor has rules. The game has to be in progress when McDonald sprinkles the ashes into the toilet
In Chicago, McDonald did his duty at a White Sox game, but skipped Wrigley Field because the Cubs are longtime rivals of the Mets. As a Cubs fan, I can honestly say that that doesn’t bother me at all. “I know people might think it’s weird, and if it were anyone else’s ashes, I’d agree,” McDonald said. “But for Roy, this is the perfect tribute to a plumber and a baseball fan.” Yes, he was a plumber!
This leads me to the question: How do you want to be remembered after you’re gone? Do you want to be remembered after you’re gone? Do you want to be known as the guy whose ashes were flushed at baseball stadiums? I remember going to a memorial service and the majority of the “Sharing time” was his friends and family talking about what television shows he liked to watch and I remember thinking that I hope my life can never be summarized by my television viewing habits. I would truly feel that I would have wasted my life.
As always, it is good to follow Jesus example. In the first four verses of John 17 Jesus is praying just before He is arrested, tried, convicted and crucified. He begins His prayer with these words,
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do."
Three things that I take from Jesus’ prayer:
I pray that my life and death glorifies God
I want to have eternal life which Jesus defines as knowing God the Father and Jesus who He sent for us. It is absolutely vital that we understand that it doesn’t matter how many buildings or freeways are named after us if we die and go to hell! It doesn’t matter if you get your face on a stamp or some currency. It doesn’t matter how many people get a chuckle out of the fact that your ashes were flushed down stadium toilets, nothing will matter if you die and end up in hell. It will only matter that you know Jesus and the eternal life that He offers.
I want to complete the work that God gave me here on earth or die trying.
How do you want to be remembered?