Ready or not, one day it will be over.
There’ll be no more sunrises, sunsets, or birthdays.
Position and possessions will be history.
Whether you lived in a castle or a cottage will be irrelevant.
All you accumulated, both treasures and trinkets, will pass to someone else.
Your proficiency, polish, and pedigree will be meaningless.
Successes and failures by which your significance was calculated will no longer matter.
Your resentments, anxieties, and irritations will be gone—also your hopes, ambitions, and plans.
What will matter? How will the value of your life be measured?
What will matter won’t be your competence and charisma but your conduct.
What will matter won’t be how well you were known but what you were known for.
What will matter won’t be the impressiveness of your résumé but the quality of your character.
What will matter won’t be how important you were but how important you made others feel.
What will matter will be that you said or did something that made a difference for someone.
What will matter won’t be how high you climbed, but what you did to empower, enrich, and encourage others; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter won’t be whether you won or lost, but that you had the integrity and courage to do the right thing.
What will matter is how you will be remembered by those you loved and who loved you.
What will matter is that you will be missed because you filled a space in someone’s life that no one else could fill.
What will matter will be how deeply those who knew you will feel the loss when you’re gone.
What will matter won’t be how long your life lasted but how long your influence will.
What will matter won’t be how you started but how you finished.
What will matter won’t be the name that identified you but the actions that defined you.
What will matter won’t be things that happened by accident but things that happened because of deliberate choices you made.
Most of all, what will matter is that you committed your life to the Lord and will now hear him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . Enter into the joy of your lord! . . . inherit the kingdom prepared for you . . .” (Mt 25:23, 34).
When you hear these words, you’ll know that the troubles and triumphs of life were worth it.