I sat down to watch the news last night and a couple of the headlines had to do with two prominent men in our area and their deaths. One man was 96 years old and had been the tax collector in our County for decades. He passed away quietly in his sleep. The other man who passed away was the CFO of Wycliffe Bible Translators. He was hit by a car while he was riding his bike Sunday afternoon. He was hit by an 18 year old who was under the influence of drugs and blacked out. Forrest Flaniken was 53.
I spent a few minutes googling Mr. Wood and Mr. Flaniken. Mr. Wood was hailed for working in the same position for forty six years. He was elected to his position before I was born and has remained there until his passing. I learned that he didn’t exercise, ate McDonald’s regularly and was active in his church. He loved his job, that’s why he stayed at it for so long. He had no secrets to a long life and just lived it with a smile on his face. He won the battle with cancer. His life was a life of service to the people of Orange County Florida. At least, that’s how he saw it.
Forrest Flaniken was also a servant. He served at Wycliffe Bible Translators. He worked there for over twenty two years while he and his wife raised three boys. He coached little league baseball, played piano and competed in triathlons. He spent his life working for an organization that brings the Word of God to the world. He did his job because he loved it and loved Jesus.
As I read a little about these men, I learned of their accomplishments and their hobbies. I learned a bit about their families and their career successes. None of the information told me about them personally, but it told me about what was important to them. They were servants. Each served in a different way, but still they served. They in some manner shape or form touched the lives of millions (I’m guessing) of people. That is profound to me.
Both of these men leave an amazing legacy behind. Neither will soon be forgotten because of the impact they have made on this world.