Eric Vogel passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. I’m sad for his family. I’m happy that he’s not in pain, though.

Since finding out, he’s all I’ve thought about. He was my dentist, one of my leaders as a young man, a neighbor and a great role model and example to me.

There are some people in life who seem to have just figured it out – who truly succeed. Dr. Vogel is one of these. I think he probably earned some awards for being a good dentist, and he performed life-changing dental work for people in various parts of the world. But more than those successes, he succeeded at the living part of life – the normal part – the daily, mundane part.

From my perspective, Bro. Vogel lived a thoroughly, consistently, pervasively good life. I am grateful for his example. He took upon him Christ’s name and honored it.

His early (for us here) passing reminds me that I ought not dilly-dally. I can be good right now. I can focus on the important parts of life: family and service to God’s children.

So today, in thinking about Dr. Vogel, I bagged my agenda and made a pillow and blanket fort with my daughter. We ate fishy cracker and raisin sandwiches and giggled and laughed and played.

I hope that I can be a light in others’ lives like he was in mine.