Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 10, 2010

Write Two Obituaries

I recently read about Roz Savage, a thirty-something woman who sat down five years ago to write two versions of her obituary — the one she wanted and the one she had. The obituary she wanted was one that reflected a life of adventure. The one she was actually heading for reflected a nice, normal, safe, and pleasant life. She looked at both versions and realized that she was totally on the wrong track. Furthermore, she realized that if she continued along that track she would not end up where she wanted to be at the end of her life. So, she made some changes, left her corporate job and “through a bit of a leap of logic, decided to row across the Atlantic Ocean.” Savage accomplished her dream of rowing across the Atlantic in 2005 and recently completed her solo row across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about pollution in the Pacific.

There is wisdom in taking the time to write your own obituary and to ask yourself the hard questions about your life. If you were to die today, what would your obituary say about you? If you knew you had another x-number of years of life remaining, what would you want your obituary to say about you? What will your obituary say about your commitment to God and His purposes? What will distinguish your obituary from that of someone who was not committed to God or His purposes? In his book entitled “Don’t Waste Your Life,” John Piper cautions: “No one will ever want to say to the Lord of the universe five minutes after death, I spent every night playing games and watching clean TV with my family because I loved them so much.” Piper continues, “I think the Lord will say, ‘That did not make me look like a treasure in your town. … Even sinners work hard, avoid gross sin, watch TV at night, and do fun stuff on the weekend. What more are you doing than the others?’”

I am not suggesting that you quit your job and set off on a great adventure across the Atlantic or the Sahara. However, each of us should be willing to more heartily embrace the everyday adventures that make life interesting, nudge us out of our comforts, and tell the world of God’s faithfulness. Live in ways that bring glory to God and look for daily opportunities to show kindness to others — and lead your family to do the same. Don’t spend all of your time and money on yourself and your family. Take a risk and connect with people that you would normally avoid or do something for God’s kingdom that you never imagined you would do. Live out the message of Proverbs 3:3-4, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.”

In the 30th Psalm, King David complained, “What will you gain if I die, if I sink down into the grave? Can my dust praise you from the grave? Can it tell the world of your faithfulness?” (30:9). David’s first question can only be answered by God. However, we can answer the other questions: “Can my dust praise you from the grave? Can it tell the world of your faithfulness?” Our dust can praise God from the grave and tell the world of His faithfulness. However, we must write the script for our dust — one line and one day at a time. So, when your obituary is finally written, will it declare God’s glory and tell the world of His faithfulness? If not, then begin rewriting your obituary today and every day until you die. Determine to make whatever changes are necessary in order to get on track with what you want said about you and about God’s faithfulness at the end of your life.


  1. This is a wonderul inspirational story. Thank you for having a heart for God.

  2. Hi Omar,

    Your post came across in my email shortly after writing the following in my journal:

    “I feel trapped sometimes in the drive to provide for my family, when I so much hope and pray for the opportunity to arrive which will enable me to become involved with all my efforts in the great commission.
    I know I need to keep learning and growing in my faith. I feel that if I do so the Lord will give the call I so much desire – but it will be according to his plan, when I’m prepared to take that path and do my job well.
    There is a lesson in waiting and preparing – but I also feel I need to put more energy into looking for the opportunity God has for me. The trick is letting go in faith without letting diligence falter.
    For now I’ll continue to pray and study in hopes that God blesses me with a mission when he sees fit!”

    And then I receive your post and know that I have not been nearly bold enough in my service.

    Even though we’ve never actually met, I feel blessed to know you through all that you write!

    Thank you,


    • Hey Chad…

      I appreciate your comment and your faithfulness in seeking God’s guidance. I know that He will open a wonderful door of opportunity for you. In the meantime, I will pray with you and for you as you wait upon Him.


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