Death is inevitable. Great men have spoken about it. Hear Steve Jobs who said: “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but some day not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be dramatic, but it is quite true.”
William Shakespeare, British poet and playwright, wrote: “Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity.” He again said; “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”
The scriptures are also explicit on the issue of death. In Heb.9:27 the word of God says, “Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God.” Death is no respecter of persons; it awaits us all. The way you die is not as important as how you live. What you will pass on to succeeding generations as your legacy after death is how you lived on this planet earth. That is the issue. Think about the legacy you would bequeath to the world.
Great men and women gave us their last words before they made their exit from this world. Some uttered their last words when they were dying and others wrote them down when they knew their days were numbered but could not tell the time they would give up the ghost. Some people who committed suicide left suicide notes of their last words.
Last words are important as they may reveal the core aspects of a person's life. It may reflect his thoughts about himself, life and the world in general.
Late President Mills health condition was kept a closely-guarded secret, but he knew that sooner or later he would succumb to death which informed the writing of his last words to Ghanaians.
Mills Everlasting Message
Mills wrote: “ I came to serve; I have finished my time here on earth and have moved on to everlasting rest and celestial duties with my heavenly Father.
As you leaf through these pages of my life's story, I pray to God that it touches you in many positive ways.
Weep not; for I am not dead.
I am alive and awake in the Lord.
Ghana will not die; Ghana will live to declare the works of the Lord.
As I rest in perfect peace in the celestial realms with my Maker, I pledge to always uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.
Remember the Lord in all your ways, and He will protect you.
Stay well my brothers and sisters, for I will always be with you.”
Mills's last words which he christened “Everlasting Message” contain timeless principles of life that are essential for success. It is a road map for life.
He said he came to serve. That is the true purpose of human life. He devoted his entire life to the service of his people. Friend, if you are not here to serve, what are you here for?
Whatever Mills did was meant to improve the lot of Ghanaians. His preoccupation was the welfare of all Ghanaians, to meet their material and living conditions as well as raise their standard of living. Did Jesus not teach us the path to greatness is through service? If you haven't discovered the real purpose for your life, you are missing a vital link in life. You will spend your life but in mediocrity.
Mills believes in life after death. He believes his Maker will give him heavenly assignments. So death facilitates the transition to a higher life with the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
He wants his life story to be an inspiration to others. He has paid his dues as a president and citizen of this country and wants Ghanaians to be inspired by his modest achievements. Based on his achievements Ghanaians especially the youth should long to do more.
Late President Mills has a piece of advice for mourners: “Weep not; for I am not dead. I am alive and awake in the Lord.” There is absolutely no need to weep and wail when a person dies. The one who has given the life is the one who has taken it back. No amount of wailing will revive the dead. The spirit cannot fill the dead body again. We should help the dead go in peace.
Mills says Ghana has a reputation that needs to be protected. Human rights record under Mills administration was excellent. He did not change the sleeping place of any politician. He wants Ghana's good name to remain intact. He will continue to offer us his spiritual support even as he lives with his heavenly Father.
Late President Mills wants Ghanaians to stay connected to God. Whatever we are doing we should bring God into the picture and He will help us. We should recognize the fact that life without God is empty. We should be prayerful. Prayer is our telephone call to God. He cares about us and will protect us.
He wants Ghanaians to remain united. He said, “Stay well my brothers and sisters, for I will always be with you.” We should not do anything that will divide or plunge this country into war. We should do away with tribalism, nepotism and favouritism as these have the potential to destroy the country. We should never let our differences to divide us. Ghana is the only country we have; we should work for its preservation and sustainability.
Late President Mills has indicated how he wants Ghanaians to remember him-What about you? What will be your last words when you exit this world?
Will they be positive or negative? Will they bring life or death to your people? What will be the likely impact of your last words on your family, work place colleagues, your friends, your neighbours, your community, your nation and the world at large? Your last words should be a light unto humanity. We should live our lives so well that when the time comes for us to die, we will be happy to face death being consoled by the fact that we have made positive contributions to the lives of our people. Live your life in such a way that at worse death can only take away your life but not your name.