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« So, how do you define "evangelical"? | Main | So, who was there? »
Wednesday
Jan182012

Eighteen years ...

Could it really be 18 years? Eighteen years since the cold January morning when seven-year-old Bethany and I happened along as a hopelessly drunk young man pointed his truck from bar to home, only to meet us in between?

Could it be 18 years since that sweet girl flashed her last smile, giggled her last laugh, drew her last breath?

It must be, unless all the calendars are wrong and time has turned back on itself.

Time is a fascinating notion. We know that the length of a minute or an hour does not change, but some days drag on like a trek through knee-deep mud, while others flit away long before we're ready.

I have come to understand that however time may seem to move, every moment of it is a gift. Every hour, every day, every year is chock-filled with chances to cherish people, to celebrate life, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

Time is far too valuable, I think, to spend on regrets, what-ifs, and might-have-beens. Time moves on, and if we want to find joy in life, we have to move with it. If that calls for hope, we hope. If it requires risk, we risk. If it offers love, we love. In all of that, we live

And give thanks.

Reader Comments (6)

Thanks Tony, for such an open, honest and hopeful post! God bless you on this day.

Jan 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Thompson

Thanks, Tony, for sharing these hopeful reflections on a day that certainly must bring back some painful memories. Blessings.

Jan 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary Snowden

Thanks Dr. Cartledge, for once again blessing my life.

Jan 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuci

Tony, thank you for your enlightened message of living in the moment, even in the midst and memory of great pain. I cannot imagine the life of one of my children being cut short so senselessly. I grieve with your family in Bethany's death and I stand with you as you model through your writing and teaching how to continue living with integrity and purpose in God’s ever evolving web of life. I pray Shalom for you this day.

Jan 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEddy Ruble

Hoping today reflection and the easyness of the ever present visualization of how she would look I pray is replaced with the hope of the day you and Jan will see her grown up in the Lord and Sam to meet her. Going with God a brother in Christ.

Jan 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermitch watson

We had a 19-year-old grandson to die four years ago as the result of an auto accident as he was returning to the U. of GA. We can identify with your grief which is profound and pervasive. Thanks for your insightful and helpful articles.

Jan 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLamon

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