Setting the Pace:Living Life with an Eternal Perspective
I had the privilege of being a part of a very special funeral service this past Monday for Paulene Harryman. Paulene went to be with the Lord at 101 years of age on September 18, 2014. From a human standpoint, she had lived a long life. I had the unique privilege of being her pastor and seeing the far-reaching impact of her life. She was very special to me and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Paulene moved to Newcastle when she was eight years old, and lived the rest of her earthly life here. Her husband Vencil, who went to be with the Lord in 1983, was Newcastle’s first mayor and instrumental in helping move Newcastle forward in its early days. Both she and Vencil loved this community, their church, but most importantly their Lord.
As I reflected on Paulene’s life, I found myself at a loss for words, something most preachers don’t struggle with, I might add. I found myself thinking, no matter what I say about her, it will pale in comparison to the person she truly was. Paulene was perhaps one of THE most genuine Christians I have ever known. She did not just talk about her faith, she lived it. But what did she live? What made her so special? There were two things that came to the front of my mind: (1) She had a real relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. She was saved at the age of twelve in the winter of 1925, and was baptized in a pond in Newcastle in the spring of 1926. She wanted to make sure I, and everyone, knew that her Savior had changed her; (2) She lived with the end in mind. In other words, she had an eternal perspective. She made decisions with the end in mind. She did not live for temporary pleasure. She did not focus on fleeting things. Her heart and mind were focused on things that truly mattered, on eternal things.
This led to me to once again reflect on my own life and ask some questions. What consumes my heart and mind? What will my life say when people gather at my funeral? What is most important to me? Paulene’s life reminded me to live with the end in mind, because when we live this way, we will have an impact that will reach farther than we could have ever imagined. Think about it, what if we all lived with the end in mind today? A perspective like that would lead us to do differently.
During my funeral messages, I’ve always said this, “I don’t really preach anyone’s funeral. The life they lived and the decisions they made will speak long and loud after they are gone.” Paulene’s life has spoken, and it has spoken well. She lived for what mattered most and the impact of her life continues. What will your life say? What will mine say? Let’s live with the end in mind. See you next week!