While sitting in the beautiful sanctuary of New Prospect M.B. Church, I was enthralled as I listened to Pastor George Taylor preach about the “Final Examination” as he honored the life of Dwayne Singleton.
Paraphrasing, some of the points were, “Naturally, in class, you start preparing for the final test before you ever get to the classroom. You begin to study. You never know what type of test the teacher may give you. The test may be multiple choice, oral, open book, pop quiz, mathematics quiz, etc. You might even pay someone to take the test for you.
“Spiritually, we all are preparing for the ‘Final Examination,’ from the day we are born. What we do with our lives prepares us for the final test. We were taught to love the Lord and to follow His Commandments of truth and righteousness. We studied different flowers – the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. We studied mathematics – how He took two fish and five loaves of bread and multiplied and divided it among thousands of people. In life, we studied multiple choice tests – we make choices – whether good or bad. We have taken open book tests – where we look for the answer that’s in the book and sometimes we take too long to find the answer. In the final test, how did we handle life? Did we study to show ourselves approved as a good student? Did we buy the book to keep – to use daily – or did we rent? We only needed it for a short time. In the test of life, we have hills and mountains to climb – what did we do? Did we offer a praise or did we lose the faith? On the final exam – you can’t pay someone else to take this test – some will walk up not ready. There will be some who have studied for the test.”
Brother Dwayne was described as a great teacher by former students and friends (the sermon title so befitting for this great teacher); a great husband to his wife, Barbara; and, a great father to his only child and daughter, Duwanda. He was described as one who had a great sense of humor, and as a man who built all the neighbors’ patio furniture. Several men said he always had a meeting place for them to gather. One gentleman said, “He always had the newspaper with him and he read it religiously; once he was finished, he would toss the sports section to the rest of us!”
I met the Singletons several years ago, and simply fell in love with the family. When I was introduced to Brother Dwayne, he immediately said he knew me. I knew I had never met him before, and frantically tried to recall where I had possibly met him. He said, “I never miss reading your articles, and I feel like I know you already.” What an honor that was to me!
I remember when my daughter graduated from Jackson State University – it snowed that day. The Singletons drove in the snow to get to that graduation. We are not related in any way; however, they exhibited true friendship toward my family. I am so happy the family asked me to be a part of Brother Dwayne’s Celebration of Life Services.
Later, I had the pleasure of talking to CDF President and CEO David Rumbarger, and our conversation centered on life. A song he shared sums up our ‘final exam.’ Some of the words are: “All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won will crumble into dust when it’s said and done, Cause all that really mattered, did I live the truth to the ones I love? Was my life proof that there is only One whose name will last forever...I’ve only got one life to live...I’ll let every second point to Him Only, Jesus...”
At the end of our lives, the “final examination” is coming. How did you handle your life? Will you pass the test? You be the judge.