Posted on my Facebook page today was a picture of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II along with the comment: “Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has it right! For Her Majesty’s 90th birthday a book is being published in which she says that as the Queen, the King she serves is the Lord Jesus Christ! How refreshing to hear that from one of the most respected and influential leaders in the world. I’m looking forward to reading “The Servant Queen and the King She Serves.” May God bless The Queen!” Another post showed the same photo along with the text: “Jesus is the King I serve”. In a related article titled “Queen Elizabeth Calls Jesus Christ ‘the King She Serves’ in 90th Birthday Book” the author relates that “Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reflects on Jesus’ central role in her life in a new book ahead of her 90th birthday, calling Christ “the King she serves” in the title. “I have been — and remain — very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love,” the British monarch writes in the foreword to The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, which is to be released in April”. It goes on to mention other faith related aspects of Her Majesty’s life such as her speaking out on behalf of persecuted Christians.
If I am honest, I am somewhat ambivalent regarding the British monarchy but I have been a long time admirer of our Queen. I recall nearly 50 years ago considering matters like “The Queen reigns but does not rule” and “What is the role of the Queen in British life” in my schoolboy studies. I seem to recall coming to the conclusion that while, unlike her royal ancestors, she does not officially exert real power and her role is often seen as that of a figurehead e.g. stamps, coins and institutions that bear her name, she does exert real influence and this partly because she is loved, respected and admired the world over. The nearest I have ever got to the Queen is as an onlooker in a crowd, although my mother met her face to face while they both served in the Army during the War. But having observed through numerous instances of news coverage over the years I have come to a view this adulation is merited. The word that does encapsulate what she does is “service” and I get the distinct impression she has done that with distinction, dedication and decorum throughout her life, and while she may be slowing down (only to be expected at 90) that deep sense of duty remains.
It brings me to another posting, which made me smile and gave me encouragement. It relates to the above because of the age and service elements. This is titled: “Hillary, Bernie, Donald, and Me” and begins: “At 70, I am energized to dream great things, because this year Hillary turns 69, Bernie turns 75, and Donald turns 70. My rising energy has nothing to do with their policies or character. It has to do with the incredible fact that all of them want to spend their seventies doing the hardest job in the world”. The author is a Conservative, American, Christian preacher, John Piper, who continues to significantly impact many, and is one of the few I like. He is referring to the current front runners in the US Presidential campaign: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
It has often occurred to me that when great things are done it is often by the young, and often when one gets to a great age it is expected that one simply bows out and enjoy retirement, although sadly many due to ageism, ill health and impoverishment do just that, but there is no reason, within limitations such as health, the old can’t do great things either or at least simply serve and bring to the table a lifetime of experience. I am approaching the age when I will officially become an Old Age Pensioner, later in the year as it happens, and while it is true I am slowing down and showing signs of going doolally, there is still work to do. I take heart from what the Queen continues to do so magnificently and, while they may not be quite my cup of tea, from the example of three veteran Presidential candidates. While there is a lot we can’t do, there is still work we can do and things we can pass on, and this is not yet the time to retire.