A man was reading the morning newspaper. To his surprise and horror, his name was in the obituary column. The newspaper had mistakenly reported his death. After regaining his composure, the man read what people had said about him.
He had invented dynamite, and the obituary included comments like “Dynamite king dies” and “He was the merchant of death.” He wondered if he would be remembered as a “merchant of death.” That wasn’t what he wanted, so he decided to change.
From that day on, he worked toward world peace. His name was Alfred Nobel. Today he is perhaps best remembered as the creator of the Nobel Prize, which is given for outstanding achievement in medicine, physics, chemistry, economic sciences, literature, and peace. Nobel wrote his will in 1895 and reserved the largest share of his fortune to be given away in the form of Nobel Prizes. The first such prize was awarded in 1901.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, more than 2 million people have died worldwide from COVID-19 as of mid-January 2021. That was unthinkable to any of us at the beginning of 2020. At the time, we were focused on making the most of the coming year. But we would soon find out what those five letters and two numbers could do to devastate lives and throw them into total chaos.
Many of us have had friends, relatives, coworkers, church members and family members die of this terrible virus. It reveals to us how fragile our time here on earth is, and how quickly it can be taken away. As this thought slowly sinks into our minds, it gives us a wakeup call and causes many of us to ask ourselves how we want to be remembered.
Being a person of Faith in Jesus Christ, the most important question I ask myself is not how much money I have, whether I have the best job or who will get my house and cars. I have never seen a U-Haul hooked up to any hearse!
The only question I ask myself is this: Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior? Anyone who answers yes to this question will possess streets of gold and a house with many rooms in a place called heaven.
I encourage you to ask yourself that question, too.
Jimmy DeLoach Jr.
photo: 2020 Scholarship Recipients, Abigail and Allison Miller from Dallas Georgia.