|The Laser Queen|
|Blogs - Ron Hutchcraft's Blogs|
I've seen at least ten U. S. Presidents come and go in my lifetime. Plus, four wars, the fall of countless dictators, and the life and death of more celebrities than I could ever remember.
And one Queen of England. Queen Elizabeth II.
Pretty amazing when you think of what the world was like in 1952 when her father's sudden death made her queen overnight - and what the world's like in 2012. But there, throughout the decades of revolution, Elizabeth has been, as one leader said, "a constant in a changing world."
So she really deserved the massive party England threw in her honor this week. "The Diamond Jubilee," they called it. Sixty years - only the second monarch to do that in 1,000 years of British history. I've been to England. It's usually a pretty buttoned-down place. But they were bonkers the past few days. And even news shows in America - you know, the "colonies" - seemed pretty taken with the celebration, the pageantry, and the extraordinary woman being honored.
It's not like she's had an easy go of it. Economic disasters in her country, political upheaval, wars, terrorism, family heartbreaks, the death of Diana, brutal attacks by the press. But through it all, Queen Elizabeth has always been Queen Elizabeth - dignity, duty, leadership.
Now Elizabeth's not my queen. But she's an example who inspires me. And really for anyone who wants to know the secret of a life that's well-lived, well-respected and stable through the storms.
During all the TV coverage of the Jubilee, I saw an old black-and-white video of the pledge she broadcast to the Commonwealth in 1947, on her 21st birthday - five years before she would be thrust into being queen. Her words have proven to be her biography. "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial family to which we all belong." While, in our day, her position carries no real authority, her person has commanded enormous respect and affection.
In the words of a USA Today story, "The queen can say she made good on her promise." In the words of her grandson - and the future king, Prince William - "she's done everything she can for the country...she has not let anyone down."
That's the power of living for only one thing. Which, by the way, is how we were all wired to live.
You make promises you can keep - and you keep them. You remain focused, no matter what. You weather the storms. You know what you need to do when everything's going crazy around you. And you are the calm in everyone's chaos.
That's why David would pray, "O Lord, give me an undivided heart" (Psalm 86:11 ). God has promised that "I will give them an undivided heart" (Ezekiel 11:19 ). The Bible contrasts an "undivided heart" with the lives of fragmented focus that most of us live: "A double-minded man (is) unstable in all he does" (James 1:8 ).
There's something magnetic about a person who's learned - and lives - the secret of a powerful life. Finding that one thing that will govern everything you do - the sun around which all the "planets" of your life will revolve. The North Star that will guide every choice, every response, every priority.
The Bible tells us clearly the Cause for which we were created. "Live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord" (1 Corinthians 8:35 ). Not Jesus as a compartment in your life, with you doing pretty much what you want with the rest of the compartments. No, Jesus like Paul talked about Him - "For me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21 ) ... "Christ, who is your life" (Colossians 3:8 ). Not just your belief or part of your life. Your life. Period. Everything - my love, my spending, my vocation, my recreation, my commitments - must revolve around Him.
A fragmented life is a powerless life. A focused life is a powerful life. A wide river is lazy and often stagnant; a river in narrow banks is forceful and swift. Diffused light cannot begin to do what the concentrated light of a laser beam can do. A life that's diffused over too many commitments and fragmented by trying to do everything is frantic, not peaceful; frustrating more than fulfilling; always up for grabs rather than "steady as she goes."
Laser living. That's what makes a difference and makes life make sense. And makes you "a constant in changing world."