COLUMN: Hoping to be remembered

John O’Hara was an author of fiction in the 1950s-60s and experienced considerable success with popular novels ...

  • May. 10, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Faith that Matters by Simon Gibson

John O’Hara was an author of fiction in the 1950s-60s and experienced considerable success with popular novels – some of which were made into movies.

I read a number of his books as a high school student and, while entertaining, they could hardly be called great works of literature. Today, I believe most of his novels are now out of print.

O’Hara, however, had a high estimation of his writing abilities and struggled with disappointment as recognition eluded him.  He was unable to attend Yale – which would have given him prestige – and requested an honorary degree: but this was denied.

He aspired to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but was never even considered.

Tragically, at the end of his life, he wrote the epitaph for his tombstone which was his attempt to achieve recognition, albeit posthumously:

“Better than anyone else, he told the truth about this time. He was professional. He wrote honestly, and well.”

O’Hara ended his life disillusioned and desperately wanting to be remembered.

I believe there is something innate within all of us that longs for a measure of immortality: a desire to leave a personal remembrance after our passing.

If you visit any legislature or civic building, you’ll be confronted with myriad plaques and pictures – a formal legacy for various leaders. Names will be recorded but, in a matter of a few years, the signifiance of their contributions will be largely forgotten.

Genuine immortality is inextricably connected to our relationship to God.  He desires to have a relationship with us and his love for us is eternal. The Bible says, “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave and he will receive me.”

You also may be familiar with the most familiar Bible verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Jesus, who was perfect, died on the cross, to pay the penalty for your sins.  And he rose from the dead.

Why not call upon God today, through Christ, and accept his love for you? Confess your sins to him and ask him to come into your life.

Now would be the best time to make the most important decision you will ever make!

Simon Gibson attends church in Abbotsford and writes Faith that Matters which appears regularly in The News.