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Life Lessons from Tragedy

Do you ever have one of those days when you wake up and things just seem more real, more alive, more vivid in a good way? You know, I’m talking about a day when you have this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for life – for the blessings that you have. Today is one of those days for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve just come from the gym and am riding on an endorphin high. Maybe it’s because it’s just a beautiful mild day here in North Carolina. Maybe it’s because spring begins in a day or two. At any rate, today I’m overwhelmed by the blessings that surround me.

This causes me to think – How much time do we waste worrying about things that don’t really matter? Too much – I know. How much time do we blow wishing we’d done something differently, worrying about yesterday or what the future may hold in store for us? What a waste of time and energy! This leads me to ponder the death of Natasha Richardson.

Natasha Richardson & her untimely death – Is there a lesson for us?

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I imagine that Natasha Richardson woke up on the day of her skiing accident with no idea of what her day would hold. Most of us think of skiing as something that is fun and exciting. I imagine if I’d been going skiing today, I’d also be on top of the world with excitement and expectation. I suppose my point here is that life is full of unexpected twists and turns. We just don’t know what’s next.

I’ve always admired Natasha Richardson as an actress – very elegant, talented and tasteful. I suppose much of that came from her mother, Vanessa Redgrave another amazing actress. When I first learned of her skiing accident and then later of her death (at the young age 45), I was shocked. Here was a beautiful, talented woman with a loving husband and children – someone blessed in every possible way. As I read of her injury and passing on the internet, I agonized within myself for her, her family and the suffering which they will now face for some time.

There are a couple of things I can do in response to such a tragedy. First, I can offer up my prayers to God, and ask that He would surround them with His love while helping them move through this difficulty with as little pain as possible and come to know salvation and peace through Him.

The second thing I can do is try to learn something from her accidental death. I can’t help but look inward when something tragic like this happens. These types of things should make us pause for a moment, reflect and be thankful and encouraged for the blessings in our lives – TODAY.

The truth is, that the only time we absolutely know we have on this earth is today. In reality, none of us knows when our time is up. For that reason, we need to fight to live in the present (and it is a fight), plan for the future and let the past stay where it really is – in the past. We need to learn NOT to sweat the small things that most seem to fixate upon, but instead – focus on the good, the positive, the blessings of each day.

If we can manage to take these things to heart, I believe that we’ll all be much happier, healthier and wiser, getting the most out of life. So, let me say it one more time –

  1. Let’s FIGHT to live in the PRESENT.
  2. Plan and Prepare for the FUTURE.
  3. Let the PAST STAY in the PAST.
  4. Let’s not sweat the small things.
  5. Focus on the blessings that we have.
  6. Be thankful for what we have NOW.

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