“I woke up today,” he said from the stage.
He paused, looked at us as if expecting a reaction and said again slowly and deliberately:
“I… woke up… today…”
This time, as if encouraged by some unseen force, approximately 4,000 men applauded Tim Timmons as he started into his Christian radio hit, “Everywhere I Go” which happens to be my daughter and my current favorite song.
In 2001, doctors gave Timmons five years to live when they diagnosed him with cancer. Now, sixteen years later with four children and a wife, Timmons appreciates each day in a way we all should.
We all woke up today. We all have this day as a gift. What we do with it is virtually limitless.
“NONSENSE!” you say.
Dozens of limits to your day immediately come to mind. You have reasons why you can’t do this or couldn’t possibly do that.
I point you to a different doctor from the ones who gave Timmons little hope.
Shortly before he was murdered, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote to a group of middle school students who asked him about his life plan. Among other things, Dr. King said:
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
Dr. King recognized the power of waking up each day until he couldn’t.
I’m pretty certain he didn’t wake up on April 4, 1968, thinking that day would be his last.
Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Today is a gift. Perhaps that’s why they call it the present.
The theme of the Lifeway Men’s Christian Conference at which Timmons sang (and to which Ryan Patrick invited me) was, simply:
In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul writes:
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
Whatever you are called to do today, do it as if God Himself called you to do it; be courageous; be strong; use semicolons.
Why? Because He did and because you can.
Because you woke up today.