I woke up this morning thinking about a t.v. commercial that I saw several years ago that I think was the greatest commercial I have ever seen. I don't remember who ran the commercial, or all of the details of it, but here is what I do remember.
In this commercial, there is an image of a very old man who is seen calling his family one by one, and asking them to come to his house for dinner on a holiday (I think Thanksgiving). One by one, you can see the family members on the other end of the phone at work and home shaking their heads "no," they just can't make it. Then, it cuts to the old man sitting at a big table eating alone on the holiday. Then, it shows the same thing happening again the following year. Then, one more year.
The following year, around the same time, we see the family members getting a call that the old man has died. We see the family members crying and devastated. Then, it cuts to all of the family coming through the door of the old man's house, and gathering in front of the "big table" where he had invited them all to come year after year. Their looks of grief are evident. Then, suddenly, from out of the kitchen, the old man slowly walks. The family is stunned. Smiles appear on their faces, and they are overjoyed! Then, it cuts to them all sitting around the "big table" eating and laughing, and looking at the old man lovingly.
What a great message! Now, I ask you to consider this, does this apply to YOU? Speaking for myself, I have family, but especially friends that, if I died tomorrow, I have no doubt they would go to great lengths to come to my funeral to "pay their respects." However, I cannot count the number of times I have asked these same friends "out to coffee" (I don't drink coffee, but you get the idea), or to get together for lunch or dinner, or to meet up at church and do something after, or come to my "small group" some night so we can fellowship, etc..., and have been told "no," I just can't make it, or, not now, but maybe soon.
I am also constantly amazed when I find out that friends or relatives are visiting my city, or are in the area, from another city or state and they don't even bother to try to meet up for a quick get-together. In addition, there have been friends that I found out are coming, and I have offered to briefly meet up with them, only to be rebuffed. On the other hand, there are times when I know I will be visiting a place where I have family or friends (i.e. my old hometown), and when I offer to meet up, they are also are "too busy." "Maybe next time."
Look, I know that life is busy, and it isn't always possible to get-together. Many don't have a lot of free time today. But, if you are one who would make the time to attend my funeral if I die, can't you make some time to get together while I am still alive? While I appreciate that you would come to my funeral to "pay your respects," it really won't matter much to me then, because I will be dead. Visiting while I am alive will be much more fun.
P.S. To those family and friends who do take the time to meet up regularly, thanks! I love you! (And, I love you who don't too, and I miss you!)
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