I married into a family that certainly had a healthy appreciation for the Royal family. The Annual Christmas Message from the Queen was one my wife never wanted to miss. We watched the Netflix series called “The Crown” which chronicled the life of the Royals, particularly Queen Elizabeth II.
We may never know if some of the scenes or words spoken are perfectly accurate, but the advice Winston Churchill gave the young Queen was very powerful. As she was leaving on a flight to tour some countries in the Commonwealth, he instructed her, “Never let them see the real Elizabeth Windsor. The cameras, the television; never let them see that carrying the crown is often a burden. Let them look at you but let them see only the eternal.”
Churchill was telling her that although people wanted to see the Queen, she must determine what she would allow them to see. In essence, the Queen needed to represent the crown more than herself. Her priority was to put the interest of the crown ahead of her own delight. This entailed self-denial, sacrifice and service for the higher purpose of the crown. Churchill instructed the Queen to display the eternal, or higher calling.
We are seen everyday by others, but what do we let them see?
While we may not live the life of a Royal, we all have choices to make about how we are seen by others. We all have opportunities to “let them see only the eternal.” We put our best forward when we have an important meeting, but are we motivated by who we represent? For the Queen, she was called to represent the crown, something that existed before she was even born.
The fact is eternity is set within the heart of each of us, even commoners, and whether we recognize it or not, we are all representing something greater than ourselves that existed before we were born. That also means there is a much grander purpose in the conversations we have than we realize.
For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10 HCSB
At times, I felt my life lacked meaning and purpose. However, I now know that those were the times that I failed to recognize the eternal in my day-to-day life. It is too easy for us to become focused only on the routine of the day and overlook the opportunities to have a significant influence on others. Consider the words you share and the advice you provide to others. In many cases, it has a greater impact that only eternity may reveal.
Churchill’s advice to the Queen is good for all of us: “Let them look at you, but let them see only the eternal.”
Queen Elizabeth II had an eternal perspective that guided her leadership. A tribute for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday was aptly titled: “The Servant Queen and the King she serves.” Well done, Ma’am!