A Lasting Christmas Gift

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Every day is a fresh new day of opportunities in front of you. The key to success is not measured by how many days we live, but how much we live each day. The important thing is not the quantity of our days, but the quality of each day.

Tyler Trent is a student at Purdue and the biggest fan that the Boilermakers have. He is a young man who really knows the meaning of making every day count. He has a tumor growing on his L3 spine that causes him to lose the ability to use the left side of his upper body as well as his legs. The tumor has paralyzed him from the waist down.

On September 25, 2018, he thought his roommates would return to find him dead in his wheelchair. He began convulsing and having trouble breathing. Miraculously, after about 8 minutes, his body returned to normal. His next visit to the doctor indicated those were seizures. The doctors gave him only 3 months to live. That was 2 ½ months ago.

Tyler made a friendly bet with Sports Center host Scott Van Pelt. Tyler picked Purdue to upset Ohio State. Scott lost the bet and had to paint a Purdue “P” logo on his head and wear it as he hosted Sports Center. At the College Football Awards show in Atlanta on December 7, 2018 Tyler received the Disney Spirit Award presented to college football’s most inspirational player, coach, team or fan. Tyler said, “I prayed that I would have an opportunity to tell my story. As long as you rely on your faith, things will work out.”

He has the greatest attitude. He wrote recently, “I am in hospice care, and have to wake up every morning knowing that this day might be my last. I still have a choice to make– to make that day be the best it can be – to make the most of whoever comes to visit, texts, tweets or calls me. Yet, isn’t that the choice we all have today? After all, nobody knows the amount of days we have left. Some could say that we’re all in hospice to a certain degree. So why don’t we act like it? Where is your gratitude? With Christmas coming up, what are you thankful for?”

Tyler continued, “I had to write my will recently, and I’m just glad I can give my family Christmas presents, maybe even for one last time. The doctor gave me 3 months to live almost 2 ½ months ago. So why can’t we live grateful lives? Why can’t we make every day count like it’s the last?”

Wow! What an attitude! What an inspiration! How convicting are his questions and his witness?

His faith has taught him how to live everyday to the fullest. What if we approached every day like Tyler? The Bible says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) It says, “…rejoice with joy inexpressible.” (1 Peter 1:8) It also reminds us that life is like a vapor. It’s there briefly and then disappears. (James 4:14) His faith has also assured him of eternal life with Jesus!

What are we going to do to make today count? You and I have a choice – today can be a great day of accomplishing God’s will for our lives or it can be just another day on the merry-go-round of meaningless activity. We won’t ever get a chance to live this day again. Remember – you only live this day once, but if you do it right, once is enough!

The Christmas presents he has bought for his family won’t last very long. His Christmas present to all of us is an example of a daily attitude of gratitude and how to make each day count. If we accept that present for our own lifestyle, it will last a lifetime!

What does your day look like?

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