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.


Mount Canaan Baptist Hosts STUFF Giveaway

Mount Canaan Baptist Church is hosting its annual S.T.U.F.F. (Special Treasures Unique For Free) Giveaway on Saturday, April 30, from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30  p.m. This event will be held at the church’s 4801 Highway 58 campus (Formerly the Hwy 58 K-Mart). There will be clothing, shoes, furniture, household items, and more. Everything is free. Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office ... (click for more)

Proceeds Of The Momentum Network's Gather Gala To Benefit Single Mothers In Chattanooga

The MOMentum Network will kick off its second annual GAT HER : Grit and Grace celebration on  May 6,  at Calvary Chapel, with proceeds of the event benefiting single mothers in Chattanooga. Women of the community are  invited to come and experience a night of intentional support, encouragement, and  uplifting fellowship with all proceeds from the event ... (click for more)

Dewayne Ray Burns Wanted After Firing Shots At Fort Oglethorpe Police Officers

Dewayne Ray Burns is wanted after police in North Georgia were led on a chase, and he fired shots at officers. Burns fired shots in their direction late Thursday night. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department are investigating the incident. According to park rangers on the scene, the Burns ran away, while firing shots in the direction ... (click for more)

5 Considered For Cleveland City Manager Position

Five names were selected  Friday  by a citizens advisory committee to send to the Cleveland City Council for consideration as the next Cleveland city manager. The five are Angie Carrier, Joe Fivas, Mark Reeter, Seth Sumner and Julie Underwood. The list is being sent in alphabetical order so no one has an advantage when the city council considers the candidates. ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Settle It With A Vote

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which I consider a pretty good authority on what words really mean, defines “freedom” in this way:  “The quality or state of being free: such as, (a) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; (b) liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; (c) independence -- the quality or state of being exempt ... (click for more)