Every now and then you hear a story that just strikes you as bizarre. This is one of those for me. I got wind of it in one of those “recap of the year” articles that just got published. I am having a hard time believing it’s true. I’ve been checking into it, and while I still have my doubts, the story appears to be true.
A man named Billy Standley was laid to rest this past year in a cemetery in Ohio. Nothing strange there (except wanting to be buried in Ohio, but I digress). What is strange is the way he was laid to rest. He was buried sitting astride his 1967 Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle. Apparently it took five embalmers, a metal brace and leather straps to get his body ready for the afterlife. His family had a huge clear Plexiglas coffin made and there was a funeral procession through his town on the way to the cemetery. This allowed his friends, family, and anyone else who desired to see him and pay their last respects as he “rode” by. A crane was used to bury the casket.
It seems like old Billy really loved his motorcycle and didn’t much want to part with it. There is something within us that wants to hold onto all the treasures we acquire while sojourning on this planet. This story proves we are capable of taking extreme measures not to allow death to part us from those things we value most. But didn’t King Tut teach us something about this all those years ago?
Allow two passages of Scripture to shed some light on this…
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” Job 1:21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Here are a few questions I would encourage thinking deeply about:
- What would those who know you best say you are most attached to in this life? What would they be tempted to throw into your grave?
- How much thought and effort are you investing into your own life after death? What preparations are you making today for the inevitable tomorrow?
Strange as it is… You’ve got to commend old Billy for grasping that this life isn’t going to last forever and the only time you can prepare for your future is now.
What highway are you rolling down?