“I’m suffering from Robert Buchter celebration of life service syndrome…”

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

Wow.  I sure do miss him.

I miss him even more than I thought I would…but I’m not alone in that.

We all miss Robert.

On December 3, 2016, Robert Buchter quietly succumbed to colon cancer.  It was at once a battle measured in years, a journey bathed in prayer, and a victory that resulted in a homecoming beyond compare: Jesus claimed Robert as His own, granting him life everlasting in Christ. (Matthew 25:21)

Soon afterward, the family hosted Robert’s celebration of life service, and hundreds of us gathered to remember Robert, to comfort his dear family, and to celebrate what God had done through this humble man’s nearly 50 years on earth.  In a well-orchestrated, well-timed service that Robert, a structural engineer, would have highly appreciated, we reveled in Robert’s life as…

  • Robert’s son, Benjamin, played drums in the praise and worship band that assembled to perform the songs Robert had selected for this day as his daughter, Penelope, was able “Skype” in from China while his adoring bride, Barbara, looked on in smiles and tears. Robert loved his family.
  • Fellow engineers from Robert’s industry shared their praises of the extensive structural work Robert had done for the Giant Center, the Palmyra Fire Station, and scores of other local projects. To that point, one prominent engineer noted during the service that he ran a search for “Robert Buchter” in their company’s substantial project database, which resulted in literally hundreds of “hits.”  Robert loved his work.
  • Men from Robert’s long-standing family life group each stood up to share a Scripture passage. Afterward, Barbara would note that she could just “see” her husband up there with these dear friends. Robert loved his relationships.
  • A fellow Bob Evans Boy from Robert’s men’s small group read a letter, “What a great journey”, that Robert wrote just before he passed. Click on the link to read it, and I’m sure you’ll agree: Robert loved his journey.
  • Pastor Bob Sproul eulogized Robert through a message entitled “No Regrets” based upon a recent conversation he had experienced with Robert. In the message, Pastor Bob explained how Robert had expressed that he had lived his life with no regrets, with Pastor Bob helping us better understand what that meant.  Through it all, it was so very clear: Robert loved his Savior Jesus.

As we collectively went on from Robert’s service, each of us would surely agree: it was indeed a celebration of a life well lived and a life well rewarded.  “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

So, weeks later, I had the pleasure of catching coffee with a long-time buddy of mine who had also attended Robert’s service.  Like me, he had known Robert for the better part of two decades.  As he plopped down into a coffeehouse seat after a hard day at work, he gently exclaimed through a kind smile…

“I’m suffering from Robert Buchter celebration of life service syndrome…”

And I knew exactly what he meant.

My buddy went on to explain his tongue-in-cheek humor, “You know, Trav, I was so inspired by what Robert did with his life, how well-respected he was in our community, and all the accolades people had to share about him, all deserved.  But, I sit here and compare my own life to his – I’m struggling to pay my bills, I’m still trying to find my calling after all these years, and I wonder what people will say about me when I die.”

And I knew exactly what he meant…because I had thought the same thing, too.

And, though he didn’t know it, my buddy had echoed comments I had heard from several men also in attendance that day, each of us essentially asking the same question: What legacy do I want to leave for my family?

This is arguably one of the most, if not the most, critical question a dad – regardless of age – will ever answer. Yet, as we think through it, a legacy isn’t just something that you produce at the end of your life, something you just whip up quickly in the kitchen like some microwave leftovers for your kids to gobble down after soccer practice. No, a legacy is, of course, something that is built up – or torn down – over time, a lifetime to be specific. It’s something developed day by day, interaction by interaction with those we love, those who love us, those closest to us. So, when I’m gone from this earth, what will I be remembered for, both good…and bad? So critical is this question that we’ve devoted our ministry and our current theme to it.  Through authentic experiences and biblical examples, A Faithful Dad’s Guide to Legacy will equip you to leave a lasting legacy your family will treasure.

Robert, in his unique subtle way, left a lasting legacy because of his love for Christ, and his desire to share Christ with his family, his friends, his coworkers, and all who knew him.  And take heart, it’s not too late!  God works though each us in times of bountiful work and in times of unemployment, in times of great joy and in times great sadness, and in times of plenty and times of want.  Truly, it has less to do with us, and more to do with our faith in Jesus, the King of kings.

Thank you, Robert, for reminding us all of that.  We love you, we miss you, and we can’t wait to see you again, dear brother in Christ!

Want to join us in equipping more men to connect through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  Please click HERE.

On behalf of our board and serving Jesus with you,
Travis and Suzanne Zimmerman

Pastor, Co-Founders