This past June we visited the Little Bighorn National Monument in Montana. It’s the site where in 1876, General George Custer and his army of 210 men were killed in less than an hour by the combined forces of Indian chief Crazy Horse.
As we wandered the battlefield, my son took note of a gravestone marked “Unknown.” As we looked, we found many marked in the same way. These soldiers are unknown and forgotten to time. Only God knows the name of the dust buried in the ground.
Many people I’ve known have died, and over time their memory remains, but does begin to fade. Their names, quirky or beloved attributes … the details slowly vanish until one day, all that is left, is the image in a photo album.
No one wants to be forgotten. I know that once I die, my son will continue to remember me, but in ever fading colors. The day will come when I am an “unknown.”
Isaiah 53:8 has an interesting line regarding the Jewish Messiah. The prophet writes of the Messiah’s death as a substitute for mankind and then asks, And who will declare His generation? When the Messiah dies as a sacrifice, who will remember Him?
Obviously we remember Him because Jesus was more than a mere man. He is God in human flesh, the Lord of Life and the soon-coming King, but what about you and me? If you passed into eternity tonight, who would remember you and for what would you be remembered?
God will never forget you. If He has each of the hairs on your head numbered (Matthew 10:30), be assured He will not forget you.
As for this world, the only thing you can really leave behind is a life lived. Your name will be forgotten. The things you said will vanish. The images and pictures of you will turn to dust. It is the lives you change today which will go on after you. Begin today, living the life that you’ve needed to live. Live it right. Live it by decidedly. Live it without wasting it. Live it with eternity in view.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).