“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but life without a purpose” ~ Dr. Myles Munroe
The week of November 9, 2014 was indeed a defining moment for me concerning the late, great, uncompromising, and incomparable, Dr. Myles Munroe. To say that “papa”, as he was affectionately called by those who truly loved him, went out with a bang, would be an understatement. This short gentleman with the great big smile and larger than life personality transitioned from this side of life back to his country of origin on his terms. Like the Frank Sinatra song, Dr. Myles Munroe did it his way and in the process, re-defined the whole concept of death for the rest of us.
Death is always a foreboding topic. Nobody really wants to die. Every effort is made most of the time by most of us to stave of this enemy to life. We diet frantically, exercise furiously, pump ourselves with supplements, and try to eat as healthily as possible. We are regimented in our scheduled visits with our doctors, we avoid eating unhealthy food and ingesting unhealthy substances, we inject ourselves with hormones and other chemicals in our bid to freeze the aging process, and some of us will go to the ends of the earth if necessary to live. Nobody really wants to die.
There was a time in my life when I was terrified of dying, but here is what I am beginning to discover; it is the people who aren’t really living who are most afraid of dying. Papa Myles talked on the matter of death with profundity in his book “In Pursuit of Purpose”. He said, “Death is a constant companion for each of us. It is also the most unique motivator I have ever known. You can either fear death- negative motivation, or you can see it as an asset- positive motivation. It doesn’t matter which path you take, you will always meet it at the end of the road”. He further went on to say that, “Killing is death before the completion of purpose. Dying is death after purpose has been fulfilled”. In essence, papa Myles was saying that if our lives are terminated before we discover and fulfill our purpose, we are killed, but if we know our purpose and fulfill it, we simply die. Everyone who completes his/her purpose dies with peace and confidence.
Death, in light of papa Myles’ life, has taken on new meaning for me. Why? Because I have seen this man live life out loud and give everything he had. By age 14, papa was fully aware of his purpose and the assignment he was to fulfill on earth. By his 60th year and the age at which he died, he had already authored 69 books. He had traveled to approximately 120 different countries and had served as a consultant to governments and heads of state; was the founding father of the largest ministry in the Bahamas; and, was the visionary behind the Myles Munroe Leadership Mentoring program with mentees stationed in over 50 different nations across the globe. He was one of the founders of the International Third World Leaders’ Association; had managed to train a successful team of trustees who are now world leaders themselves; had successfully modeled and maintained a Kingdom-patterned marriage and family for 30+ years; and, had served as a spiritual father to countless men and women all over the world.
In the last fews year prior to his death, papa Myles spoke extensively on the importance of passing the baton and the mantle to the next generation. Consequently, he established and implemented a succession plan in all the spheres in which he operated. By the time he transitioned, everything was already being managed or led by his team of successors. He is often recalled saying in the last few months of his life that he was satisfied that he had done all that he needed to do and that he was empty. Now with such a powerful and untenable legacy, how can I ever look at death the same way? How can you?
Nothing should die until its purpose is fulfilled. If you have been living life on your own terms, not giving thought to whether you are traveling the trajectory that will catapult you into your God-designed destiny, you might just be living on borrowed time. Consider this, will you be ready when death shows up, or will you be wallowing in regret and loss? What legacy have you managed to cultivate at this point in your life and are you proud enough to pass it on to the next generation? What have you accomplished that is substantial enough that you are worth remembering?
Your ability to cheat death and rob the grave of your deposit is contingent upon two fundamental factors; you coming into right relationship with your Master Manufacturer and you discovering your purpose for being here on earth and walking it out. The latter is impossible without the former, no matter how successful you might be. You cannot discover your purpose independent of your Designer, because He is the only One who has the blue-print for your life. That is the knowledge that Dr. Myles and his team walked in. I believe the moment they departed this life and entered the next, everyone was greeted with the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.
Nobody wants to die, but if you are terrified of death, there is that strong possibility that you truly have not started living just yet. People who live their lives on purpose are very much aware that their death is always imminent, but they are so preoccupied with and committed to finishing their course, they have neither the time nor the energy to live in fear. Like Dr. Myles Munroe, don’t just die, die empty!
Visit the Podcast Series tab or the Podbean Podcast page to access the associate podcast segment entitled, “Death Re-defined: The Myles Munroe Legacy”. Additional information about the Myles Munroe Leadership Mentoring Program may be found at MMLM Program website.