We're just a week past Veterans' Day, or Remembrance Day for my friends in Canada. If you've never had the opportunity, I'd encourage you to visit a National Cemetery near you. While those in Washington and Normandy are among the most well-known, you may be surprised to learn that there are several very close to those of us in Central Indiana. You can visit Crown Hill, Marion Cemeteries or Dayton National Park and Cemetery to honor those who have fallen for our Country.
Years ago, my son and I made a trip to France and were able to visit Normandy. We were humbled by the rows-upon-rows of white markers, each representing the life of a young man who stormed the beaches and fell in the effort to bring World War II to an end. On that hilltop, with the sound of the wind blowing off the Channel through the pines, the reverent silence of the visitors, and the historic importance of the site all embedded a sense of awe to the location and what these men experienced within their last breaths.
Today's sermon at St. Paul United Methodist Church was a powerful reminder that the final markings on our tombstone can tell the tale of our lives. Are they lives of sacrifice and love? Are they lives that reflect the grace we can share? The grace we've received?
Of course, our lives may have taken some side roads and detours over the course of the journey. But it's never too late to start again. If we're starting with the end in mind, the marks on our marker can reflect a life very well lived.