There is a medieval morality play called “Everyman”. It opens with a “messenger” stepping out in front to the curtain, looking intently at the audience and saying, “I pray you…hear this matter with reverence…Look well, and take heed… For ye shall hear how our Heavenly King calleth Everyman to a general reckoning.” The play then portrays Death coming to tell Everyman that his earthly years are over and it is time for him to enter eternity. When Everyman recovers from shock, he asks Death to give him time to ask his three most cherished earthly companions to enter eternity with him. Death grants him his wish. Those companions turn out to be Power, Prestige, and Pleasure. Everyman approaches each of them in turn and to his dismay, each of them refuses to go with him. He can take no one or anything with him but the person he has become. This is a sobering but true reality. The things we value so much and work so hard for in this world cannot go with us when we leave it. Every once in a while we hear something outlandish like someone choosing to be buried in a vintage car that was their pride and joy. Chances are we laugh at the thought, but hopefully we are goaded to remember that we can take nothing with us when our time comes. Isn’t it true that we spend a lot of time and energy in trying to achieve some version of power, prestige and pleasure. We all need some amount of them in this world and they are not bad in themselves. But how much we value them and how hard we work for them and what we are willing to do to obtain them make us the kind of person we become. And the person we become is the only thing we can take with us when we are called by God to eternity.
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