A former co-worker’s death last week was unexpected but, thankfully, painless for her. As I was driving to her memorial service I thought about the times that we had spoken and the things she wanted to do in her future. It was just about retirement time and there were fun things she had begun to think about doing. Her passing made me wonder about putting off pursuing things and then life getting cut short and purpose being missed. But at the service, as people shared, I learned some things about my friend I never knew – how she provided supplies to the homeless downtown on a regular basis, how she had not only raised her now grown children as a single mother, but also her granddaughter. I learned of the many and varied ways she helped friends and strangers through life crises, all with her own sacrificed time and finances.
I never knew these things because she never told me. She never told anyone. Many people who were attending were surprised as well, even her own family. Some admitted thinking that they had thought she didn’t have a full life – that she had missed out. We now admitted we were wrong. She was doing plenty of things. She was doing them under the radar.
It has made me do some deeper thinking. I often say that your purpose in life doesn’t have to be anything huge, that it’s not about being famous or making tons of money. But I guess I’ve always thought it was at least about something that was noticed, something that you showed to other people. Maybe not. The sixth chapter of Matthew, in the Bible, is all about playing things close to the vest . . .
I think I need to pursue this further. I would love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments section.
“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
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