It was a cold Chicago winter's day and us crazy teenagers rode around in Tony's high school sweetheart's convertible with the top down. Yep, we did a lot of crazy stuff back then. Life was good and we lived adventurously with no cares in the world. Funny how you don't think about how precious life is until reality hits.
As we moved on later in life, we each went through our own circumstances, it's what we call the game of life.
Tony was a friend who passed away in 2007 with Lou Gehrig Disease, otherwise known as ALS. His mother was kind of like a second- mom to me. Her and I would car pool to work on Fridays and share stories of our families. We both recognized how blessed we were to be a part of close-knit families, a rare find these days.
Tony's story is a unique one. A story that can quickly change your importance in life. A few years before he was diagnosed with this deadly disease, his sister hit the lottery jackpot, winning over $20 million dollars. Everything was going good for Tony: he married his high school sweetheart, had two kids, had a great job, and his sister shared the wealth. Life was good.Then just as it happens in life, they were thrown a huge curve ball with Tony's illness; a difficulty that no money in the world could change.
In Tony's last few years he was down to no movement in his arms or legs, he could shrug his shoulders though. ALS is a disease that really needs to be understood and how damaging it is to the human condition and to the soul. Tony was in perfect health, never smoked or drank and ALS is not hereditary; so finding out what causes this in us humans and finding a cure is important.
After the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge's gain in popularity this week, I began to wonder what Tony's mom must be thinking with all of this hoopla. Sure, the challenges are bringing more awareness to the disease, and more folks are donating like never before, but will that compassion for others still exist after this novelty challenge has worn off?
Lately, I have begun to put even more emphasis on what's more important in life, even finding myself investing more and more into the lives of all of those around me.
My problems pale in comparison to so many who are in need. I really have nothing to complain about. I am in perfect health, running 6 miles on Saturday mornings. My refrigerator is stocked with food, I have hot running water and heat and air conditioning. I have a job, a home, a great loving family and I have peace. A peace that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Corrie Ten Boom once said,
"If you look at the world, you'll be distressed.
If you look within, you'll be depressed.
If you look to God, you'll be at rest."
Thank God for the grace and peace that only God can deliver to each and every soul that believes.
My hope and prayer is that God grants doctors the wisdom to prevail victoriously in a cure for this deadly disease.
If you wish to help find a cure by donating some dollars click on: www.als.org