from Rachel: What Drives Your Life?

“I am chagrined to admit that my driving force would generally be the pursuit of pleasure. The second would be necessity. The latter kicks in when the former is overcome by: hunger, fear (of scoldings etc.) pride (not wanting to accept the image and all the labels I earn), nagging etc.”

“I’m not sure what those close to me would say my driving force is. Perhaps they would agree, or perhaps I have somehow managed to fool everyone.”

“I would like my driving force to be – serving God: by serving my husband and son, by serving my family and friends, by serving my church, and by serving my community.”

“I can honestly say, ‘I accepted Your Son, Jesus Christ as my personal savior, and I strove to make Him Lord of my whole life.

“I used some of what you gave me; although I’m sure I missed/ignored a lot of opportunities when I could’ve done better.”

Dearest Rachel –

Would it disappoint you to know that you hadn’t fooled anyone? I think it was obvious to most of us that you were always in pursuit of a good time. Now, there’s nothing particularly wrong with that, and most of what you counted as a ‘good time’ was perfectly wholesome, but it wasn’t as if you made a great secret of it in the intervening years since writing this down.

In fact, it was made all the more obvious by the way you left. You died doing something you were enjoying, something fun. After recovering from the shock of the news, the general reaction was something along the lines of ‘yeah, that’s how she would’ve wanted to go.’ Could you deny it?

Meanwhile, I’ve been discovering more and more as I go through the house about what you did and didn’t want to do. Maybe it’s the fact that Jan is a Marie Kondo type, but the process has let me to discover the sorts of things that did or did not ‘spark joy’ in you. Cleaning and organizing being among those that did not. To you – and Ellen has confirmed my suspicions – such things were a waste of time, time that could be spent enjoying oneself. Besides, everything was going to get dirty or messy again soon enough – so why bother with that at all?

For what it’s worth, it seems we were both like that… well, are, I suppose in my case. We are – were – too concerned about trying to enjoy life, that we set aside some of the less enjoyable parts. Honestly, it felt like life was too short to not enjoy it as much as possible; you certainly proved that.

On the other hand, that’s not to say that you weren’t remembered as a servant, with a servant’s heart. I even used a picture of you from this past year (you can tell by the mask you’re wearing), in the Randhurst nursery, holding a child and rocking them to sleep, as part of the pictorial montage on the recording of your funeral service. I didn’t take that picture, by the way; someone else did, and posted it to Facebook as a tribute to you. You were an example to others, after all.

So what if you were a bit more self-indulgent that you ought to have been? We’re all human, we all have our failings, after all.

I’m going to say that your last comment here is probably the most accurate assessment that anyone can give themselves. I may be overly generous in my assessment, but it seems that almost nobody we know buries their talent completely, like that one faithless servant with the single talent. At worst, there are those of us who aren’t aware of what our talent is, and thus, how do you use what you don’t know you have? But most of the people we know are reasonably participatory in their worship, as it’s a thing that’s encouraged by our church. At least, we don’t seem to suffer from the 80/20 rule, wherein 80% of whatever gets done is done by 20% of the congregation. But you made a point of being part of that 20%, even if it was more than 20%.

And thankfully, it’s not like our own efforts are what get us into heaven. None of us would make it, in that case. But that’s not the point. The point is, that you tried to be better, as a means of spread of expressing praise and thanks to the One who let us in; and you always strove to be better than you were. It’s all He asks for.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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