It was a Friday afternoon, in July, 1975.

I was working for UPS. I had a little break time left so I stopped at the coffee shop. (A coffee shop is what there was before Starbucks). Most of the drivers from UPS stopped there in the afternoons.  The waitress came to my table and told me I had a phone call.

When I answered the phone, my world was forever changed.

My supervisor told me to bring my truck in immediately.  I asked what was up.  He said there had been an accident with my family and he would tell me when I got in the center.  I demanded he tell me if it involved my wife or daughter, he said no it was about my mother.  There had been an accident and she could not be located.

My mother had been murdered.

As I write this so many years later, the pain and shock is still so vivid.  Some things do not dim with time.  They remain ever fresh, pungent, alive, and painful.

The next few days were terrible. It took three days to locate her body.  Then there was the funeral, and days and days of just a blur.

Just a week before this tragedy, my mother had stood across the hospital bed of the man who murdered her and asked me to teach her a bible study.

I was so excited that she wanted to know more about God.  My mother had a rough life.  She and my father divorced when I was three.  Mom went on to marry 5 more times before her tragic murder when she was only 42 years old.  Her last husband was the man who murdered her.

He was a brute and a beast.  He was a large powerful man.  He beat my brother with a rubber hose until I did not recognize my own brother.

The night my mother asked me for a bible study, this husband of hers was in the hospital with a heart attack.  I went to the hospital. Little did I know that my mother had  a little over a week to live.

If I had known my 42 year old mother would be dead in 9 days I would have dropped everything and prayed with her.  She was a backslider with two brief sojourns in church.  Both times she had prayed through she had stayed in church just a few days or weeks at best.

But I did not know.  Neither do you.  Today is all we have.

How will you use this day?

Will you wallow in self pity?

Will you throw away a wonderful 24 hour gift locked in a mind loop of things you cannot change?

Will you allow anger to take the microphone and filibuster?

Who needs you today?  Who can you show love and approval to today?  Where can you distribute happiness today?

Today is all you have!  It is yours to spend as you choose.

My hope is you take today by the throat and demand full payment for all the zest and joy it can bring!  I pray you shake off any element that would rob you of the abundant life Jesus Christ promised us.

Honestly, I am simply amazed that you would take a few moments of your day to read this blog.  From my heart I thank you.  I do not take that lightly or take it for granted.

In a terrible way, the day my mother was murdered is a day that has lived forever in my mind.

I am glad there are other days that also live forever.  The day I received the Holy Ghost.  The day my daughter sang her first special in church.  The day my grandson won a trophy in Bible quizzing.

Sand never flows upward in the hourglass of time.  Tomorrow’s sand cannot flow through before today’s sand. I cannot place tomorrow’s gold in my purse today. Tomorrow lies buried with yesterday.  Today is all I have.

If for any reason today should be my last, then let me drink each minute to the full.  Let me savor it and give thanks.

Thanks for reading today!