When I die (a statistical certainty) somebody will be entrusted with the task of writing my epitaph. An epitaph is a verse or inscription on a tombstone. It is the statement that describes or characterizes someone’s life. As a final, “conclusionary” description of my tenure on the planet, the words of my future epitaph intrigue me greatly. For, indeed, my what epitaph will say when I die is being defined by the way I live right now. The “final product” of my existence is not something that will be defined after I cease to live. To the contrary! The sum total of my existence is being written in the present by the choices I make and the priorities I live for. Right now.
In this reflection I find myself reminded of some words penned by Northrop Frye, “On the level of belief alone, it is not possible to distinguish what we believe from what we believe we believe; our actions alone show what we really believe.”1
Northrop Frye, Words With Power: Being a second study of the Bible and literature (Markham, Ontario: Penguin, 1990), p. 16 ↩