Lunch with My Dad

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I had lunch with my dad today.

Well, that’s nice, you say.  And it is.  But it’s even nicer when you realize that last year at this time, my dad was in a coma in ICU after cardiac arrest.

So lunch with my dad on THIS day has pretty huge significance.  You’ll have to excuse me if I’m a little giddy about it.

You see, last year on December 7th, my dad suffered sudden cardiac arrest, and was without blood flow to his brain for at least 10 minutes.  I’ll spare you all the details (if you care to see my thoughts on this and what was going through my head at this point last year, you can read this and this).

Today, my mom rode with him on a trip to Raleigh for a doctor appointment, and we met them for lunch at “Chick-n-lay” as my son calls their favorite place to eat.  Sitting there with my bride, my three kids, and my mom AND dad was very…normal.  Yeah, normal.

And that’s awesome.  Because last year at this time, I didn’t know if I’d ever get to hear my dad’s voice again, much less get to sit down and just talk about life with him.  We didn’t dwell on what happened last year, though I know the significance of our lunch wasn’t lost on any of us.  We didn’t talk about great and weighty things…we just talked about life, the family, our respective churches.

When we piled in our cars to leave, I hugged my dad and kissed him on the head.  I didn’t say anything profound, beyond “I love you Pop”, but let me tell you, those hugs and kisses aren’t taken for granted.

I now realize a little better just how precious those times are.  Life is a gift, a precious gift, and most of us take it for granted every day.  I know I do.  But there are moments when I remember just how special it is, and how important time with the ones you love is.  I try not to take it for granted.  I hope you do too.

Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Only God knows the number, but we need to count each day we have as a gift, a blessing, a precious slice of time that is irreplaceable.  I think many of us miss the blessing in the “normal” days because we’re too busy looking and planning for the “spectacular” ones…which may never come.

And what is far too often the case is this:  we don’t make time for the small things, for lunch with our family, or a cup of coffee with that loved one, or dinner with good friends, or a game of catch with our kids.  We spend far too much time dreaming about “big” things, and miss the enormity of the life that’s passing by.

So tonight, I hope you can sit and think of something from today that you’re thankful for, that was a blessing to you.  And I hope you’ll wake up tomorrow with a mindset to take the gift of a new day and spend it wisely…live it unto the glory of the God Who blessed you with it.

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