I much prefer starting my posts with a huge SMILE! Or even a pithy statement that gets us thinking.
But this morning, the last morning of April; a morning that indicates much must be sorted through and dealt with; a morning that holds the promise of a few tears along with laughter..... Well, this morning starts with a small sigh.
While watching all the royal festivities yesterday, there was a word used several times by the commentators that really stood out to me. They kept talking about DUTY.
The queen is loved by the people of Great Britain because she has lived her life as one who knows the duty associated with the privilege of her position.
Princess Anne, described as the "work horse" of the royal family has embraced her duty. William has always demonstrated a sense of duty; even as a child, some said. While Harry's life elicits adjectives like "naughty" and "cheeky", William 's life brings to mind words like "settled" and "protective".
I wondered at the two lives lived by the royal family.
The public life.
The Queen made over five hundred appearances last year. If she takes off weekends alone that averages two events per day. I wouldn't want to put on a hat and corset that often, would you? Smile.
The private life.
The moments they finally have behind closed doors. But even then, these people have servants and assistants watching their every move. To some it may sound glamorous - servants available every minute. To me it sounds maddening to know that you seldom ever have a moment of privacy.
Yes, two billion people tuned in to celebrate the wedding of William and Catherine. But that many people will also be curious about their every move as they try to honeymoon. Will she ever again be able to dash over to mum and dad's without an entourage in tow?
I pondered the real thoughts behind the gracious smiles and practiced waves.
Remember the line from Aladdin? The genie describes his dual life. (Cue - swirling clouds; lightening; loud thunder) "Phenomenal cosmic power! (Cue - sucking sound as genie squeezes into lamp) Itty bitty living space!" Smile.
And as I pondered such a dual life, the word "duty" could be heard again in my heart.
This morning I'm remembering that when people are entrusted with leadership they are also expected to understand duty. (And please understand, I'm referring to leaders of all sorts. If you're a parent, you're a leader!)
We all have times when what we want to do and what we need to do will collide like two opposing freight trains. And I'm thinking that much of the trouble in our world comes from too many members of the human family choosing selfishness over duty.
(I know. Heavy thoughts for a Saturday morning.)
But isn't that also what we celebrated last weekend with Easter? Even Jesus prayed, "If it's possible, let this cup pass from me. Still, not my will but yours." DUTY!
The greatest moment in all of human history revolves around the power of duty fulfilled. And as a result of that incredible choice - duty over selfishness - salvation and resurrection power are available in our lives.
His response to duty changed all of mankind!
(Makes me want to "pull up my bootstraps" for one more day! Smile.)
I don't have public appearances like the queen. But I do have daily opportunities to choose whether I will allow Jesus to be seen through me or whether it will be my ugly human nature showing up. Whew!
Maybe someone else is feeling the weight associated with leadership today. Be encouraged, dear friend. As you choose a hat and tighten that corset for one more "public appearance", grab the Armor of God too before heading out the door.
Let's choose to wrap ourselves in some humility and self control. Resurrection power won't be far behind.
My choice of duty over selfishness won't change all of mankind. But it most certainly will matter in the life of some man or woman I encounter today; don't you think? Smile.
I see you waving from here!