It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)
God’s Word never prohibits rejoicing nor attending festivals and feasts. Jesus’ first recorded miracle was in a wedding, a week-long celebration in their culture. But God’s Word teaches us that we learn life lessons better in funerals.
Funerals remind us that death is the great equalizer. Regardless of one’s status in life, each is destined to die. Knowing that truth and taking it to heart (understanding it, responding to it) makes one wise – wise enough to change one’s perspective, focus and direction. Upon learning of his disease, Steve Jobs chose to focus his remaining days in the pursuit of excellence. Consequently, millions have benefitted from Jobs’ ingenious devices – the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
I used to hang out with some very colorful characters in Pandacan, Manila. One of them died last week. I learned that he got sick from drinking too much and so died from its complications. Ironically, our other friends would go to the wake and have a drinking session – the very root of our friend’s untimely demise.
Some people learn their lessons well. Others learn the hard way. Still, others learn too late or not at all. God uses life’s tragedies to teach us. It is our heart’s response that determines if we learn anything from Him at all.
– joey reyes