Bob Tamasy: The Gift Of Every New Day

Sunday, July 21, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

We take so much of life for granted. Especially those of us blessed with good health. We charge through each day with our schedules, commitments, to-do lists and sundry activities, tumble into bed – and start it all over again the next day. We rarely pause to appreciate life’s little blessings, such as being able to see a pretty flower, listen to birds chirping nearby, or even take a deep breath.

Not everyone is so fortunate. We observe people that are sightless, others that sign to communicate because they can’t hear. And occasionally we learn about individuals for whom the seemingly simple act of breathing is a challenge.

My friend David is one of the latter. At 18 months old, David was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic, incurable disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Initially he wasn’t expected to survive childhood, but thanks to very supportive parents, medical advances, excellent healthcare – and God’s grace – he has reached his 46th birthday.

He’s got a beautiful family – a wife and five children – and has achieved a successful professional career despite his disability. But David never takes any of that for granted. Just inhaling and exhaling serve as constant reminders.

David is now in the process of qualifying as a candidate for a double lung transplant. He doesn’t seek pity or sympathy. To the contrary, he’s the first to insist how abundant his life has been. He’d like to remind each of us that every new day is truly a gift. Recently he wrote the following:

“Got to spend time with the family at the lake house. I love (our children) slalom and wakeboard, riding the tube and doing flips off the boat. Things for me are not as easy as they use to be, but no less rewarding. Every day is a gift.   

"Life is not to be taken for granted. I am reminded that breathing is essential. Today I jumped into the lake. Actually, I did a flip. After hitting the water I realized I had trouble catching my breath. I used to swim for hours in the water and never tire. Times have changed, but the desire to live and fight is still here. My kids have to do more themselves, but they know I am out there with them and that's what matters.”

For years I’ve made a practice of trying to keep the value of each day in the forefront of my mind. Most mornings I recite the biblical reminder, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). From God’s perspective, each day is a gift He has freely given, filled with opportunities, challenges and surprises. When we awaken each morning, we discover He’s given us another day. We shouldn’t squander it.

Another passage underscores the importance of being good stewards with the time we’re given: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Another translation calls this “redeeming the time.”

That doesn’t mean frantically trying to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of every 24-hour period, but it does advise making the effort to appreciate each day, because it’s all we’ve got. Yesterday’s gone; tomorrow might never come. All we have is today.

Some moments are breathtaking. And sometimes physical exertion leaves us momentarily short of breath. Nevertheless, if you can take a breath at all, stop and be thankful for that. It’s a gift. Just ask David.


---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Bob Tamasy: Good 4-Way Test

Years ago I was a member of the Rotary Club in the metropolis of Tomball, Texas (about 30 miles from Houston), but until a couple weeks ago I’d forgotten about a cornerstone philosophy for every good Rotarian.   I was at a Rotary luncheon in Norfolk, Neb. (another metropolis) with my friend, Steve, and at the opening of their meeting the members recited what’s known as ... (click for more)

Good Shepherd Luthern Church Has Advent Services Concerts

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will host two concerts at their Wednesday Advent Services. The Chattanooga Girls Choir will be performing on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. Jericho Brass will give their annual concert at the church on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m.   The church is at 822 Belvoir Ave. in East Ridge.  For more information call the church at 629-4661. (click for more)

Alecia Driggins Faces Multiple Charges After Robbery And Hit-And-Run In East Ridge

East Ridge Police arrived on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the East Ridge Flea Market at 6725 Ringgold Road in response to a reported pedestrian struck and hit and run incident. Once on the scene, police determined that the incident was actually a robbery. The victim advised police that a white woman claiming to be a police officer grabbed her purse and attempted to flee ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Undercover Officer Nabs 2 Women Who Respond To Escort Service Ad; Swindle Involves One-Sided Copy Of $50 Bill

An undercover officer said two women reported to a motel on Shallowford Road after he responded to an escort service ad on Backpage. He said the women matched their photos in the ad. They agreed to "full service sex" for $260. The women, Holly Carney and Sabrina James, said they live at the Hamilton Inn. A search of their room there turned up meth, syringes, scales and ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)