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After my Junior year in High School, I spent the summer working
as a grounds keeper at the cemetery. As I recall, the pay was fairly low,
and the work was hard. Really, hard isn't the word. Mowing the grass and
cutting down the weeds was the easy stuff. The hard work involved using
a shovel. And we used a shovel almost every day. We laid gravel on the
dirt roads in the cemetery by hand. We'd shovel it from a pile into the
back of the head caretaker's old pickup, then he'd drive down the dirt
road and I'd shovel it out of the back. Shoveling gravel is particularly
hard because the shovel doesn't go in smoothly. It was much harder than
shoveling dirt, but to tell you the truth, I'd rather spend the day shoveling
gravel than dirt.
We shoveled dirt on two occasions, either the grave caved in after a
hard rain or someone passed away. Because it was a small town, I usually
knew anyone who died, sometimes I even considered them friends. I hated
But the job wasn't all bad. I did enjoy one aspect of the job, walking
among the graves while mowing or chopping weeds and reading the grave markers.
They always included essential information like names and dates, but some
of them included a short sentence or phrase that captured who the person
If you had to write your epithet, what would you say? You know that
you are writing it today by the way you live. Your friends and family will
remember you for something, what will it be? I hope that when my family
puts me to rest that my life will have earned this epithet-A man of Integrity.
Because when it is all said and done, integrity is what really counts.
Read the sermon
that corresponds to this devotional.