My Perfect Epitaph

Done. We use this four-letter word quite frequently in our everyday life. We’re done with the laundry, done with our homework, done with our plates at restaurants, done paying the bills, done at the doctor’s office. We ask our children, “Is it done right?” Teenagers inquire during chore time, “Are we done yet?”

This small word has surfaced everywhere recently. One of the most humorous is a comical phrase that overwhelms me on wall plaques as I traverse the aisles at Affair of the Heart craft market – “Get ‘er Done!” There is a Done magazine and a Get it Done app for your phone. Someone has written the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Such a busy existence for a teeny tiny word.

Not only is it popular in our current society, but it appears quite often in the New Testament as Jesus interacted with the multitudes as He traveled along the dusty roads.

  • Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
  • Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • According to your faith will it be done to you.
  • My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.
  • I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

This power-packed verb has even infiltrated into the daily running of Arise Ministries. In operating a ministry there are many system, organization, and communication shortcuts and efficiency measures we put into place. My favorite item was instigated by one of our faithful employees. She notifies me when she’s completed a task by sending an email announcing, “Done.” I love that word! A few days ago I facetiously told her, “I’m gonna put that on my headstone – Done!” 

Immediately the connotations bounced around my brain as I realized it’s my perfect epitaph! Not because of its earthly implications, but because of how it correlates to what Jesus taught and how I’m to serve Him. According to Webster’s Dictionary, done means “completed, finished, through, exhausted or used up.” Here’s how the definitions line up with the one-word homage:    

  1. I’m through with my life on earth
  2. I completed the tasks assigned to me by God
  3. I’ve finished the race I was called to run
  4. I have exhausted all avenues to glorify God
  5. My time’s been expended in building His Kingdom

One of my favorite quotes states: “I may be burning the candle at both ends, but at least when I die, I won’t have any wick left.” That’s my goal. I want to live my life in such a way that when I pass from this hemisphere to the heavenly realms, my to-do list will be stamped “complete.”    

The best part will occur when I gaze into my Savior’s face and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

What is your perfect epitaph?

About Shelley Pulliam  

Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media.