Although every life eventually arrives at the same destination on this earth, no two lives travel the same path to get there, even if the twists and turns vary only slightly. Not every life is gifted with the same opportunities or the same blessings and not every life will positively impact the world around them.
This past week our community lost one of those people who made a difference. Philip Meek was a mentor and a minister to many in our area, loved and respected by all who knew him; his circle of influence was huge and grew larger each day. When his life suddenly and unexpectedly drew to a close, there was a sense of emptiness that seemed to blanket a great portion of our county and the surrounding area. Why? Because his life positively impacted those with whom he came in contact.
It is difficult to lose those people but so easy to memorialize them. It is easy to tell the story of a life well lived because the regrets are few or forgiven. The efforts have been successful or lessons have been learned. And above all, it was always others before self. It is difficult to let them go, but their lives will be continually celebrated and their presence will be lasting. That kind of legacy is not dependent upon your station in life or your material possessions. It comes from a heart of service.
We occupy a unique position in our profession for we see the best and the worst of humanity, and often on the same day. And although it is difficult to lose the Philip Meeks of this world, I’m not sure which is sadder—to bury someone who has positively impacted thousands of lives, or someone who lived in such a way that no one cared when they left. One demonstrated a life well lived, the other a life wasted. Either way, the road they traveled led to the same destination on this earth. One just made the journey more meaningful.