Last week my friend Tim had an experience none of us ever wants or is prepared for when it happens. Tim is around my age, and is a body- building machine. I mean the guy is just ripped with muscles head-to-toe. Tim is also a hard working follower of Christ with a wife and two young kids who just moved into a new home.
Tim has a special place in our family’s heart because once a month, he serves as my son’s special buddy at church. He takes Jon Alex to class and works with him in our special needs ministry so Becky and I get to go to church together. And he is a passionate UT Vol fan like me, which gets him extra points!
Last Friday at work the side of Tim’s face began to droop and his speech slurred. And then he passed out.
The doctors would later say Tim had suffered a stroke.
Young, in tip top health, a fitness guru—and now stroke victim.
The doctors say it’s a miracle because they do not anticipate any long term effects or issues from the stroke. They expect he will make a complete recovery. The part of his brain that was damaged apparently doesn’t control anything so there is no residual harm.
If the clot that caused the stroke had gone to the brain through any other route the results would have been devastating.
Honestly the whole incident opens up a flood of memories for myself from three years ago. Three years ago this month I was arriving home hooked to a machine and on IV antibiotics around the clock having just come out of a coma after being on life support for a few days.
Similar to Tim, my whole world had been turned upside down unexpectedly out of nowhere. And when your world has been rocked like that, your whole perspective changes. Your whole outlook and attitude change.
Everywhere I look and go these days, it seems like we have turned into a bunch of non-stop complainers. We are never satisfied anymore with anything. We always find something that isn’t right (and by “not right “ I mean the way we want it to be.)
You know the people I’m talking about don’t you? They are always complaining of how bad their day or week went. They feel it’s always them against the rest of the world. They complain about their family, their child’s teachers, their co-workers and bosses, their preachers, their neighbors. It’s almost like they look for people they know around them to whom they can go vent their frustration or complain. They are never truly happy or content.
And if you can’t think of anybody you know like that in your circle, it may be you!
I admit it is incredibly easy to be one of those people. I m one myself sometimes. And yes life is confusing and frustrating at times. Shoot, it is downright hard and difficult to be content and happy in all circumstances. And often I find myself grumbling and complaining.
But it is a choice. How do we stay in an attitude of gratitude?
Did you sleep in a bed last night? With sheets and covers?
Can you go to the sink at anytime you want and get a cold glass of water?
When it gets hot is there somewhere you can go to cool off in the air conditioning?
Did you have clothes to wear today? What about shoes?
Can you pretty much bath or shower with hot water every day?
Do you know where your next meal is coming from?
If so that puts you ahead of billions of other people in the world.
Here are some common “complaints” the rest of the world can’t even imagine.
“I can’t find what I need in the fridge cause it’s so full of stuff.”
“All we have to drink is water”.
“There is just nothing on tv tonight.”
“I have to wait for the stupid computer to restart.”
“Our garage is so full we can’t even fit the car in there anymore.”
“I wore that outfit a few days ago.”
"I had to wait almost 10 minutes in the drive-thru for breakfast."
We take almost everything about life for granted. And yet we are promised nothing. Not even tomorrow.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”- James 4:14
Please don’t take today for granted. The truth is for all of us when we think about it is this: we have nothing really to complain about it.
Ask yourself this question. In looking back at your yesterday, if you had known that it was your last day on earth, is that how you would have wanted it to go? Would you have changed anything about how you lived yesterday?
If so, make a change in today.
It’s a choice.
Today you have been given one more day to make a difference in the world.
Today you have been given one more day to show love to your family and friends.
Today you have been given one more day to smell, touch, see, hear, and taste the world God made around you.
Today you have been given one more day to shine light into someone else’s darkness.
Today you have been given one more day to model humility, service, and excellence in all you do.
Today you have been given one more day to be His eyes, His hands, and His heart.
Today you have been given one more day to impact those around you.
Today is all you have been given or guaranteed.
Don’t waste another day.
As Tim and I both now know, it may be the only day you have.