Reminders from a Small Town Funeral

Last week, I attended a funeral of a customer of Maverick Ag and prominent member of our small town community of Ashley, North Dakota. In respect for the family, I won’t go into details but his death was sudden, unexpected, and left many of us taken back by the fact that he was now gone. In fact, he was just sitting in my office paying his bill not that long ago. And now, he’s gone.

The service was beautiful and showed the support our small town gives when people are in need or hurting. The church was packed, the message was inspiring, and his daughter gave a gorgeous eulogy. It left me sitting in my seat with tears streaming down my face. Even though I didn’t personally know the father, grandfather, friend, and community member we lost, the words spoken moved me. It got me thinking about my own family, my own father, and what it would be like to lose him. The hurt I could not even begin to imagine and in fact as I sit here and write this, all I can do is cry thinking about it.

During the service, I was reminded of some things about life that we so often forget. Our lives get busy, we get stressed out, and suddenly the things that don’t really matter in life seem like a BIG deal. Right at a time that life is seriously going a million miles a minute and my mind is all over the place… I am brought to a quiet place to dwell on a life, a life that was well lived but cut short. I was brought into God’s word and it spoke directly to me. I was reminded of what is really important in life, I was given perspective, I was reminded to appreciate the little blessings in my own life.

So I share with you… Reminders from a small town funeral.

  • Kindness Matters. You never know who will be or when someone will be taking their last breaths. That person you cut off in traffic today, that friend who you snapped at because you were having a bad day, or even your spouse you got in a fight with earlier today could be have their time here cut short. Is that how you want them to remember you? Let the people in your life know that you love them, you care about them, and you are thinking about them… Even if you are having a bad day, even if you are mad at them, no matter what. Stop and think… if you died right now, would you leave this world without any regrets? Or is there that one thing lying heavy on your heart, unresolved… Take a step to fix those unresolved issues, today. Because in the grand scheme of things, often those unresolved issues feel so much more important at the time than they really are.
  • Make Time For The Little Things. Ecclesiastes 3 begins, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” I think about how agriculture always talks about how their career is like being married to their career. There is no 9 to 5 and you work until the work is done. Sometimes in this life, it’s easy to get caught up in that hustle and bustle and that “while the sun shines, make hay” mentality. But work isn’t the only thing you need to make time for. Make time for your spouse, make time for your kids, make time for your parents. Make time for the important people in your life. It doesn’t have to be a full day or some grandiose event. Maybe you come home an hour or two earlier than normal just to play with the kids or enjoy some quiet time with your spouse or start late one day because you go have coffee with your mom or dad. Those little things are big things. Those little things are the memories your kids and grandkids will remember once you are gone. Those little things will touch hearts and strengthen relationships. Don’t neglect the little things and remember, there is a time for everything.
  • Check Your Relationship With God. When our time comes and we leave this Earth, everything will be left behind. Our worldly possessions, our computers filled with years of writing that was so precious to us, all the blood, sweat, and tears we put into striving toward our dreams…. everything will be stripped away. And what will be left? Well, our relationship with God. It will be all we will be weighed on at the end of our lives. It won’t matter how many good Earthly works we did. If we turned our backs on him and never had a relationship with him, there won’t be much for Him to say to you once you pass on from this life. Sitting in that church, if there was one thing that hit me the most it was this. Are you living a life with complete certainty that He will welcome to you into the kingdom of Heaven at the end of your days? Or is your passion and what you live your life for something other than Him? Is it fame, is it fortune, is it your career…? Check your relationship with Him before it’s too late.
  • Our Lives Now are NOTHING in Comparison to the Promise. No matter how blessed you think your life is here, no matter how much you think life just can’t get any better….. all of it pales in comparison to the Promise we are given of Heaven. We cannot even begin to fathom the greatness that is Heaven. Our bodies made new… There will be no more death, no more sickness, no more hate. We will be able to walk by sight instead of faith in the Lord. It will be glorious beyond our imagination. And for the first time in a long time, I am excited about this promise.

It seems kind of crazy that I got all of these things out of one funeral service, but it is amazing the things He shares with you when you are listening. Nothing like a little perspective on life right when you need it…

Start listening and you will be opened up to a whole world of good news…

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8 responses to “Reminders from a Small Town Funeral

  1. The funeral I attended the same day as the one you were at touched me in a way that said…take time for others. This gentleman was my neighbor and I didn’t even realize what a treasure I had right next door until it was too late! We all get so involved in our own lives and just don’t take time anymore for others like we should. I am so guilty of this!
    Nicely done, Jenny!

  2. Beautiful.

    This reminded me of a current situation I found myself in recently.

    A good friend and I got into a huge work-related argument at work months ago and we stopped speaking to each other. After I attended a viewing of a young man my age two weeks ago, I came home and thought about the sour state of my friendship with that friend and I emailed him my thoughts, apologies and asked for him to be back into my life. He apologized as well and graciously accepted me back into his life too. I am so thankful I did this because looking back, our argument was so petty and I was over it by the evening it happened. We were so caught up in our pride that we never took the time to talk about it.

    I am a true believer in those “slaps in the face” that we often need to realize what’s more important in life.

  3. Those moments are awesome, when God speaks to our heart!! (Even if it was at a funeral) Attending the funeral as well also put a lot of things in perspective for me in my life. I really enjoy reading your blogs Jenny!

  4. Thank you for the moment of small community, it’s as good as it gets.
    Even your family pictures show beauty more than skin deep. It’s stick with it until it’s done, farm character, several generations of genetic “this is what’s important” training. The big city ooh— not a clue what this is. High Quality Character is people created, and takes many on the same page pulling in the same direction.

  5. Pingback: North Dakota Sunsets: Fall | [ j. l. d. ] Photograph Blog·

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