Wind came up today, scattered clouds high above blew past. The evening was beautiful, the sun set with an orange glow on the western horizon. But then, much of the world saw a California sunset this evening. My tasks, and decisions, kept me inside for most of the day, busyness all around was not congenial to outside meditation. The birds surely did still sing, the animals visited as they do. I stood outside and played a mournful tune on my tin whistle, a parting thought for the day.
For while outside meditation did not fit within this day, the sights of remembrances were there to be seen. The State memorial and final funeral of President Reagan took much of my attention. One could say too much, and yet I think it right to pause, to enter into ceremony, to consider and honor a great man such as he.
Few people in history have or will likely influence as many lives as did Ronald Reagan. World leaders of historical note marked his passing with tears and profound words. None however were as profound as his son, Michael, who said that of all the things that his father did for this world, the greatest gift Michael received was the message of salvation, shared on a plane trip home one day. Michael told, with obvious joy, the wonder of salvation in Christ, a salvation which his father led him into in 1988.
The man who faced down communism, was a man who cherished his children, cherished his wife, cherished his Lord. The words of today spoke of a man who lived life as it should be lived, a life of character, humor, faith, and honor. No, he wasn’t perfect, but he was great.
It is the mark of a great man to lead people into finding their own fullness, their own hope. It is the mark of a great man to inspire people to do better, become more.
I find that at the end of this day I am humbled in watching this tribute of a man who was once the most powerful man in the world, a man whose mark on history is assured, and who could still, to me, be a model of faith and the Christian life lived out in an imperfect world.
The words of parting say it all. Whatever politics we espouse, whoever we may vote for in the coming election, we saw and heard the memorial of a great man. At the end of the day, at the end of his path, his children were there with words of great love, his wife was there, a sign of decades of mutual love and dependence, and his God was there, spoken words of Christ making today the most evangelistic national day for many years. All because of a single life lived, lived in historical events with a deep character shaped by faith.
His cup has been poured out, he has made his offering. He finished the race, he fought the good fight, he remained faithful. He has earned the prize he now embraces, and in his death echoes the call for which he lived. A call which inspires me to be more, do more, so that I too can live in such a way that Christ is so honored at my end.