Hearses Don’t Have Tow-Bars – But People Do Have Memories!

I go to a lot more funerals these days than 21’sts or weddings. And the weddings we go to are not our friends weddings, but the children of our friends. I can’t seem to remember when we passed through that demographic but pass it we did. They are interesting, these demographic levels – you only notice them after you have passed through – you look back and notice that things are somehow different, but you can’t pinpoint how or when it changed. Like the time I realised I was no longer the target demographic for leadership in church. And I notice that I am no longer the target demographic for most marketing campaigns. I refuse to acknowledge ALL invitations to get the ‘seniors card’ or accept special discounts because of age.

Anyway, getting off THAT subject, the point about going to more funerals brought an interesting thought to mind. You never see tow-bars on hearses. Fascinating that. Yet so many of us spend large portions of our lives and sacrifice so much to accumulate – stuff, wealth, property, possessions. Its all good and proper, but we can’t take it with us so what is it for?

Do we have a purpose for our accumulation? There are many great purposes – to set the family up for a good start, to provide for a comfortable retirement or to leave a legacy by investing in favoured causes are a few of the many good reasons.

Are there others? to have most toys? as a badge of honour? to beat the Joneses? to prove to those who said you couldn’t?

I wonder do we know clearly what it is really for?

“What do we want to be remembered for…?” is a question Michael Hyatt (MichaelHyatt.com) encourages us to ask and “What is most important to us..?”

Given the horror mentioned earlier of finding out I might qualify for a seniors card – I have been a bit more (OK a lot more!) intentional about making plans for this year – not about what to achieve or what to accumulate, but much more about what impact I want to have on my world and the people in it.

Hearses don’t have tow-bars – but people do have memories. I have a view that the most important legacy we can leave is not just our total net worth on Probate (though that is great), but the memories we leave in the hearts and minds of those we touched during our lives. In answering Michael’s question “what is most important to me…?” I find that it is mostly people and relationships that fill that list.

It will be great to leave abundant financial blessings in our will, and don’t get me wrong for a moment – accumulating wealth and prosperity is really good, but do we want to be remembered most for what we left in the will or for the great times we had together – that we were there when they needed us most and that our memory brings a smile to their face?

My Moment of Absolute Clarity this week is to encourage us to make the time to get absolutely clear on what it really is for and who it really is for and how we want to be remembered… so that what we leave behind does not need a tow-bar but does leave an indelible memory.

All the Best, Brian.

PS: I know it has been a while since I wrote last – thanks for your patience and grace. BM

+61 408 277 773

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30 thoughts on “Hearses Don’t Have Tow-Bars – But People Do Have Memories!

  1. Thank you Brian for your article. Sometimes an expensive and precious gift can say what words can never express. I’m certainly not downplaying words, but we need both to fully express our deepest gratitudes. Thank you for your service in Him. We love you both.

  2. Hi Brian,
    Great to hear from you again & a belated Happy St Patricks’s Day.
    Always appreciate your intermittent newsletters.
    Hope to catch up soon.

    Best regards,
    Paul Donnelly

  3. A brilliant article Brian and congratulations. Interestingly, it both magnified and clarified some thoughts I already had myself today as earlier I had attended the funeral of a successful business friend. Nice words were said but as soon as the service was over, 80% made for the bar and partook of other refreshments, and it would be fair to say 90% would not have even remembered the deceased or why they were there

  4. Absolute delight seeing this in my inbox! Love your insights and wisdom Brian. Very few emails these days I read from start to finish and this one I relished like a great meal with a friend! Thank you. PS You were not just present at, you were the minister for the beginning of Dales and my marriage 12 1/2 years ago and we have been enriched by yours and Helens blessings and your prophesying on that day and your friendship ever since.

  5. Hi Brian,
    Yes it a while since your l I all is now ast contact and I know where you are coming from re the Hearses I hope all has settled down now.

  6. Welcome back Brian. Good to see you are still with us mate. Some great thoughts there as always.

    PS Get your senior’s card and enjoy the savings. It’s one of the only good thing about growing old. The rest of it is rubbish – trust me!

    cheers Pete

  7. Great moment to ponder, thanks, couples nicely with the question, what do I really want???, Keep up the good work Brian, great to have someone to challenge “my story” and get me thinking, you are a rare breed.

  8. Thanks Brian for provoking my thoughts, time erases memories but making a contribution to make the world a better place is so very worthwhile ,Also I,m amazed how little I,ve changed since high school, apart from needing a nap occasionally ! I reckon only God can change us .

  9. Hello Brian,
    A brilliant article – and from the heart! I don’t think you have any worries though if everybody sees you as I did – a loyal, honest, helpful, trustworthy friend who did what you promised to do. That in itself is a wonderful legacy and if you left a pecuniary legacy, that is simply a bonus (once again for the benefit of others). Best wishes Brian

  10. It’s true Brian about leaving memories behind – a most valuable gift! It’s very good to be reminded of this! Thanks