As many of you may know, Queen Elizabeth II passed away yesterday afternoon. At the time of this writing, the news has only been out for a little over an hour, it feels eerie watching the word travel quickly around social media.
Many prominent figures in the world have released statements expressing their concern for the Royal Family as well as their admiration for the longest reigning monarch in British history.
Queen Elizabeth was just a woman, sure. I’m not trying to glorify her today. She woke up every morning and put clothes on like you and me. She had marital struggles, struggles as a parent, habits and hobbies.
But she was also on an entirely different level than the rest of the world. Kept in a glass bubble her whole life for the world to see, she was expected to always know the correct response. She was educated in matters of policy, etiquette, economy, foreign affairs, world history – all in preparation for the day she would ascend to the throne. At twenty-five years old, she was duty-bound to a life of service, and she carried that role with dignity.
One of the remarkable things about the Queen that many people have already written today in her honor, is her selflessness. This is quite amazing considering that she was literally the Queen of England, born into a life of privilege and status. Instead of entitlement, it was selflessness that characterized the Queen.
She probably didn’t get it right all the time. Like I said, I’m not trying to glorify her today. But even at her status, that was so wildly different and apart from ours, she displayed characteristics that we would do well to emulate in today’s generation fraught with entitlement and, dare I say, laziness.
She wasn’t afraid of hard work
She served in WWII as an auto mechanic for the ATS. There’s a story that decades later, she was riding around in her Range Rover when all of the sudden it had a flat tire. Instead of calling anyone for help, (there were dozens that would have jumped at the chance to assist the Queen) she insisted on getting out and changing her own tire.
She was frugal
Unlike many members of the Royal Family, the Queen was very aware of what came in and what went out. She genuinely wanted to honor the Crown, keeping its buildings and symbols of the monarchy in good repair but she also felt a huge responsibility to steward her money wisely to gain the peoples’ trust.
She was level-headed
You didn’t see the Queen fly off the rails unless you were a select few in her inner circle. Even then, years of training would have kept her from saying too much. When media put pressure on her at various points to try and force a certain response, she quietly did what she thought was right. She held fast to her beliefs and considered her words carefully.
She was the Queen of England; we’re royalty in another Kingdom. She lived by the code of traditional teaching that had been passed down through generations. We live by the eternal Word of God. She had anything she wanted at her disposal. We treasure not the earthly gain, and we glory in the riches of a promised Heaven. But there are some similarities. She lived her life in service to a higher cause as we do. She did it with grace, dignity, and strength. We also, as servants of the King of kings, whose reign will never end, should carry ourselves with grace, dignity, and strength. In a world that screams for attention, our response should be selflessness. Throughout our lives, we will encounter adversity. There will be situations that make us question why we do what we do. There will be people who try to get us to give up on the cause. Our response should be one of grace. The Kingdom is worth it.
“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”
-Queen Elizabeth II
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (emphasis mine)
-Galations 5:13 NKJV