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I was overdue for vacation.  It had been a busy fall, and the last week in March was the first vacation I would have had since last summer.

In November, we booked a flight to Clearwater, Florida, to visit with family friends.  Chet and Joy were retired ministers.  When my wife was a teenager, she lived with them for a period of time.  Their influence on her life is significant. We were scheduled to visit with them the last week in March.

Vacation couldn’t have come soon enough.  The day before was a board meeting.  The next morning a friend drove us to the airport.  We were leaving chilly North Carolina for the sun of Florida.

It was a wonderful week.  What did we do?  You’re thinking that we swam in the water or went snorkeling.  Perhaps we played some golf or went sightseeing.  Instead, we did something better, We napped.  Yes, we napped.  It was wonderful.  Every day from 1:15-4:15 the four of us took naps.  I didn’t realize how tired I was.  It was good to get some badly needed sleep.

Since Chet and Joy were officially “snowbirds” their regular house was in Maine. We talked about my wife and I going to Maine to spend some time with them this summer.  I looked forward to it as I had not been there since 1978 when my wife and I first started dating.

While in Florida, we were given a bonus day.  The airline had to cancel our Saturday return and generously allowed us to fly back on Sunday.  We were grateful for an extra day with these two individuals.

Since I like to get to the airport early, Chet drove us.  Both headlights went dead that morning.  Yet he was not deterred to get us there on time. He called us after we landed to assure us he replaced both bulbs that morning.

Barely three weeks after he took us to the airport Chet found himself in the hospital.  Surgeries were scheduled.  Recovery was in ICU.  I was confident he was getting the best care possible and would be home in a few days.  He died in the hospital only twenty-three days after driving us to the airport.

We tend to live our lives with the idea that the time we have on this planet is infinite.  It’s not.  It’s finite.

Only a few weeks before, my son-in-law ’s father also went in for surgery.  He never recovered and died in the hospital.

Will had wanted to take his father to the zoo.  His father’s response was always, “We’ll go next time.”  There were no more “next times.”

There is a Scripture verse that says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  We are not given forever on this planet.  We think we have forever to straighten out wounded relationships.  Sometimes there is no “next time.”


There is another Scripture verse that say, “This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”   Let me ask you, what are you doing with this day? Not tomorrow but this day?

My sin is that I tend to live in the past.  I will review past hurts and think about them a lot.  Sometimes I bounce to the future, thinking about how I want the world to be.  Yet God calls me to live in this “precious moment.”

I will never go fishing with Chet in Maine.  Will will never take his father to the zoo.  Don’t put off today thinking you are guaranteed tomorrow.  You are not.

I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.


Rev. Tony Marciano is the President/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.  He is available to speak to your group. Fill out our speaking request form for more information.