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.


Steve Ellison: Our Day In Court

There is an old Jewish saying, “Two men argued over a cow.  One pulled on its head and one pulled on its tale, while it was being milked by a lawyer.”   We have an epidemic in the United States.  Unnecessary lawsuits are paralyzing this country.  Not only are court dockets tied up at every level of our judicial system, but just as important is the chilling ... (click for more)

Midnight Cry To Perform At New Life Baptist Church On July 2

Midnight  Cry will be at  New Life Baptist Church, 10415 Hamby Road, Soddy Daisy, on  Sunday, July 2, at 10:30 a.m . All three members are songwriters. Stan Shuman has written over 100 songs, including “Somebody Touched Heaven For Me,” and had cuts by The Kingsmen, Gold City, and the Dixie Melody Boys. David Walker has written two charting Southern Gospel ... (click for more)

Smith Denies He Told Young To Shoot Holsey In North Chattanooga Drug Deal That Cost A Life; Asks Jury To Spare Him Life Sentence

Briston "B.J." Smith told a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon that he never ordered Adram "A.B." Young to shot Charles "Chas" Holsey in a North Chattanooga drug deal that cost a life. Smith, who was 18 at the time and is now 20, asked the jury not to put him behind bars for life. The state is seeking a life sentence (51 years) on a first-degree felony murder charge. ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Milner Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Attack On Cancer Patient

A Criminal Court jury found 27-year-old Michael William Milner guilty of reckless endangerment in an attack on a cancer patient at an East Ridge motel on July 12, 2016. Milner had been charged with aggravated assault, which would have carried a possible prison sentence of 6-10 years because he was a Range II offender due to his prior record, prosecutor Bates Bryan said. The ... (click for more)

Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly. By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

I am constantly amazed by the many emails that I receive every day. Quite curiously, I get a heavier load than I would ever have thought because the big search engines on the Internet send my Chattanoogan.com stories far and wide. Even the local ones on the Chattanooga area bring comments and I am deeply flattered. I try to read them and lament I haven’t the time to respond the ... (click for more)