I read a story about a young man who died in a tragic motorcycle accident. His mother made an unusual decision. She arranged for the wrecked Harley Davidson bike to be buried alongside her son. In response to a reporter’s question, she sobbed, “It was his whole life.”
What if that burial practice was to catch on? I wonder what my family would bury next to me. My books? My baseball stuff? I have to admit that even as I think about the possibilities, something deep inside of me cringes. When the dust of my life settles, I ‘d rather not be remembered for the money I have earned, the possessions I have acquired, or the material pleasures I have enjoyed. Do you?
In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he used the Philippians and others in the region of Macedonia as examples. It was his desire for all believers to experience the freedom and joy of a generous spirit. He said of them: Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing. (2 Corinthians 8:2-4)
I had a member of my church in Bullard, Texas, named Tuck Young. He could have been a member of the church in Macedonia. Tuck had a wonderful spirit of generosity. He used to tell me that he could not sing, but he loved music. So, Tuck bought the choir new robes. Because of health issues, he could not do mission work, but he loved helping people. So, Tuck made sure the youth had the monies necessary to go on mission trips. He could not preach, but he loved hearing good sermons. So, Tuck bought this preacher an excellent Bible commentary set. Tuck believed that God gave him the gift of giving money away and he wasn’t going to squander that gift.
As I think about that list of burial objects, my mind wanders to Tuck. When I preached his funeral, no one said anything about his “stuff” or his resume. Instead, people talked about his giving spirit. Tuck’s whole life wasn’t about a Harley or a set of golf clubs or even baseball stuff; it was about generosity and giving.
Tuck Young did not live in a mansion, nor did he drive the fanciest car or wear the best clothes yet, his spirit was overflowing. You know, I hope when I die, someone will stand up at my funeral and say, “Marty? Well, he was like Tuck!” I don’t know about you, but I think that is better than a Harley.