This is the Day…Monday
April 19, 2021
Thirty-two years is a long time. It is hard to comprehend just how much occurs in life over a period of thirty-two years and how all those moments are spent. For some reading this devotion, thirty-two years will be more than a lifetime. For others, it is not even half. Thirty-two years ago, I was only twenty-nine years old. I had not yet experienced the joy of having children. I was preparing to begin my seminary experience. Mom and Dad were still well, and all my brothers were in the prime of their lives. But on April 19th, thirty-two years ago, one of the men who changed the course of my life died. His name was Conley Edleman Howe. He was my Dad’s father. But I just called him Paw Paw.
Paw Paw was born on February 2nd, 1900. He had lived through the great depression, two world wars and was father to four boys. Paw Paw taught me so many great lessons, especially during my early teenage years. But mostly, he taught me how to live life deliberately. He often said, “A good life does not happy by accident. You are responsible for your own happiness.” He went on to say, “Live the moment you are in before you try to live the moment that may never come.
Those words never rang so true as they did on April 19, 1989. Paw Paw was in a care facility in Lincolnton North Carolina. I went to visit with him several times per week, but this particular visit was different. Paw Paw was very weak and fading in and out of consciousness. As I sat beside his bed, Paw Paw woke up and began talking to me. We both knew his time was near. Suddenly, every moment with him became a precious gift. I took those moments and held on to them. I squeezed those precious seconds until there was nothing left. And then, Paw Paw faded off to sleep.
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
I am glad I lived for the moment that day. That night, Paw Paw went to his final home with God and my moments with him were over. There have been lots of moments over the thirty-two years since Paw Paw went away. Over half my life has passed. I have seen children born and watched parents died. I have seen souls saved and walked with people through their darkest valleys. But most of all, I have learned to never worry about tomorrow. I know it will bring some troubles, just like today. But that moment may never come.
On this day God has given you, make sure to live each moment. Moments with family, moments of laughter and tears, moments of quietness. They are all just moments in time, but none is more important than this one.