“The Great Secret”

April 10, 2013


“The Great Secret” is how you have lived your life, how you have raised your family, how you have treated other people, what you gave back to society.
-Jeffret Saut, managing driector, Raymond James

When I was a young boy, I remember my father coming home looking very ashen from a visit with a dear friend dying in the hospital. His name was Dell Zink and he was one of my father’s closest friends. Mr. Z, as we kids affectionately called him, was a very religious man; a man who was regarded by his friends as intelligent and philosophical.

Dad told me about the visit. He said Mr. Z told him that he was prepared to meet his maker ... and at last he would know “The Great Secret.” My father did not elaborate, obviously under great emotional stress because he was losing his friend. I never forgot Mr. Z. I never forgot that phrase – at last he will know “The Great Secret.” In later years, whenever anybody I knew died, I would often think that person too would learn “The Great Secret.” That phrase just never left my mind. I often thought about “The Great Secret,” about what it really meant, about what the secret really was. After wrestling with the possible answer for years, it appeared to me to be unanswerable, so I set it aside.

Recently a friend of mine became very ill and the phrase The Great Secret came back to mind. It haunted me and kept me awake at night. I struggled intellectually with what it meant, what the answer could possibly be. Then one day, near the end of my friend’s struggle for life, he seemed to arrive at a great tranquility; a peaceful acceptance of his fate, a serene, almost holy calm seemed to surround him. I suddenly realized that he knew “The Great Secret,” and by being near him, nursing him, watching him deal with his illness in such a brave and dignified manner, I at last knew the answer too.


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