Do It Today. Tomorrow Isn't Guaranteed.

by Don Kern

    On Monday, 26 September, Joe Smith was driving home from work about 7:00 a.m. He was a little tired, but thought he would be ok to drive. He was wrong. Apparently, Joe fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line into the path of a semi-truck. He died about 3 hours later.

    Joe was a good kid. He drank very little--he was always the designated driver. He graduated high school last Spring with honors. He played basketball. He had essentially been abandoned by his own family, but at least three other families had "adopted" him. He had people who loved him and his whole life ahead of him.

    I heard about the accident when I called home from the Los Angeles airport. What a shock. I had chosen the topic for this column at about the time the accident happened. I didn't realize how real it would be.

    We have an opportunity in this life to accomplish a lot of different things. We influence the people around us by our examples and by our actions. Each of us has the capability to touch other people's lives and make them either better or worse. What are you doing? What kind of example are you setting?

    Today is the day we have to take full advantage of the opportunities that come our way. We can't always wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow may not be available. Don't wait until tomorrow to do the things that should be done today. Take the tasks at hand and jump into them, and give them all you've got. Appreciate the gifts we now have--our health, our family, our friends.

    Too many people, both young and old, die with "their music still in them." Going through life waiting for something to happen or for somebody else to do something, life comes to an end before dreams can be fulfilled.

    Are we doing what we need to do to in our lives? What are we doing about the problem that needs solving, the situation which needs correcting, the friendship which needs mending. Are we moving toward our dreams? Are we working toward our goals? Will the world be a better place because we've been here?

    Eccl 9:7-10 (NIV) Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun-- all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

    Rejoice with your husband or wife. In that person you have a great gift. Don't forget to show your appreciation. Do things together, celebrate the love that you share.

    Rejoice with your children and your family. Don't forget to tell them you love them.

    Can you see? Hear? Smell? Do you have a warm bed to sleep in, food to eat, clothes to wear? Rejoice in those gifts. Appreciate the things we've been given. And don't take for granted the most amazing gift we have--life itself.

    Joe had plans. He was going to college next term. He planned to be a husband to my daughter and the father of my grandchildren. Joe won't have a chance to do any of that.

    Those of us that are still here need to remember. While we have today, let's not waste it. Don't wait for tomorrow. It may not come.