I’m not sure how often I had been to a cemetery prior to the last year; if you included visits to memorial sites, like Arlington National Cemetery, I could probably still count the number of times on my two hands. Going to burial sites wasn’t something that I was used to, however after my dad passed away, this became a regular part of my routine. Some may question the usefulness of this but for me, it signified a way that I could still honor my dad – that I could let people know how important that he is – even though he’s no longer with us.
What I’ve noticed on these frequent trips to the cemetery is that the place is always busy. The first indication of this is the notification when you drive in of the services being held that day. As you continue, you can see the remnants of prior services that still linger, or the visitors slowly making their way to their cars after they’ve said good-bye. As quiet as it is supposed to be, the cemetery is a hotbed of activity.
It’s a stark reminder of how quickly life on this Earth can come to an end. I am sure that a significant portion of those visitors didn’t know that they wouldn’t see their loved one again when they last saw them in the flesh. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, and as I often tell my students, what counts then is what you do today that matters for eternity. We so often want to put off following God’s call, making the excuses that right now, life is just too hectic to do what He says. But soon, probably quicker than we realize, our bodies will be laid to rest at a place where it’s always busy. What a joy it would be if when we arrive in heaven, our lives on Earth will have been busy with the same things that will consume our lives there – bringing glory and praise to our Creator.