An epitaph we all should aspire to receive

Published 9:51 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

by Dr. Darryl E. Maxwell

I like to visit old cemeteries.

No, I’m not sadistic. It’s not a morbid curiosity that draws me to them.

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It is the epitaphs etched into the gravestones that are of interest to me; some are religious and inspirational.

“Asleep in Jesus” is one. It is excerpted from I Thessalonians, chapter four. Others are a warm and tender tribute to a parent, like “She was a loving mother.”

Occasionally one will be downright amusing. An epitaph by one who may have been accused of being a hypochondriac read, “I told you I was sick.”

My very favorite, however, is not on any gravestone but in the Bible Book of Genesis (5:21-24).

It is that of a man named Enoch. Enoch was a very ordinary man. He never did anything outstanding to distinguish himself. He wouldn’t have been featured in the news media or a guest on anybody’s talk show. He was just, well… ordinary.

In his 65 year he fathered Methuselah, famous for his longevity. And in that same year the Bible says Enoch began to walk with God. He “walked with God” for 300 years.

What a wonderful characterization of a man’s life. He “walked with God.” What a eulogy that would make! I can’t imagine a more desirable epitaph.

Enoch “walked with God” and then one day he just disappeared. He simply vanished without a trace.

The Bible accounts for what happened to him. It says succinctly “and he was not, for God took him.”

One day God just reached out and snatched him up. What a way to go!

It’s not likely that when my time is up it will be said of me in the same sense that it was said of Enoch, “he was not, for God took him.” But I do hope it can be said, “he walked with God.”

How about you?