What Will You Leave Behind?

When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Precious memories for your friends and family
Or relief that you’re no longer there?
Will the faith you’ve shared bring them comfort
Or your hopelessness cause them more grief?
When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will your words continue to encourage
Or the harm they’ve engendered linger on?
Do your sermons tell of God’s Kingdom
While your actions point the other way?
When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will the good you’ve planted grow like flowers
Or the problems you’ve sown spread like weeds?
Is your life well invested in others
Or will your influence die at your death?
When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you expire, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Meager savings that soon will be used up
Or all the riches of the least child of God?
Will you leave debt for things that don’t matter
Or your witness to what God paid for you?
When you expire, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

About this Song:

There are two songs I want sung at my funeral–other than some favorite hymns. Chi Coltrane’s “Go Like Elijah.” I doubt that Chi, who has no idea who I am, would have any interest in coming to sing at my funeral, even if she’s still alive at that time. So I’ll have to leave a CD where Kathleen can find it.

The other song is this one. And I doubt seriously that Kathleen would be emotionally up to singing it, so I once spent a number of hours recording a CD of this song for future use.

This song was a challenge to write. Among other things, I was hard pressed to find and fit synonyms for “die” into the song’s rhythm in the second, third, and fourth stanzas.

But that’s not really the point, is it?

We’re all going to die, and each of us will leave some sort of heritage behind. Some people will barely be missed. The death of others will even be a relief. How sad.

As Christians, however, we have the chance to leave so much more than material goods. If our lives are filled with love, kindness, consideration, generosity, and so many other virtues than I can begin to list here, we will continue to live in the memory of others in a good way.

But how would we feel if all we knew that all we would be remembered for was hatred, nastiness, selfishness, violence, or any of an endless list of other negative characteristics?

Very few people are remembered throughout the centuries. Probably only the very best people–and the most wicked.

But why should we waste the opportunity to be remembered approvingly for as long a time as possible? It’s up to each of us as individuals, isn’t it?

Your comments are always welcome.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song.

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

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About Roger E. Bruner

Seventy-four-year-old Roger E. Bruner is the author and publisher of eighteen Christian novels and the writer of more than two hundred Christian songs and choruses, a handful of musical dramas, and a number of shorter works. He sings, plays guitar and bass, and records his original songs in his home studio. He will be active in his church's nursing home ministry again when circumstances permit and in the church choir when it starts up again. In the meantime he'll keep playing bass on the praise team. Married for seventeen years to Kathleen, he has one grown daughter. Kathleen has two. Roger enjoys reading, moderate exercise, photography and book cover design (he's done all of his own except for Rosa No-Name), playing Snood, making walking sticks, and complaining about the state of the nation while continuing to pray for it.
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