Earlier this week, through Facebook, I learned that a member of my high school graduating class (and a member of my extended family, my second cousin) had passed away unexpectedly. He was found in his truck outside a local McDonald’s near where we grew up and the death was labeled suspicious at first. It is now a murder investigation.
It’s been a little shocking to say the least.
In response, a guy in my high school class posted the picture below, taken of our class on the day we graduated. (Yes, my class was small.)
When I look at that picture now, I’m struck by how young we look. We were just babies, but we thought we had the world by the tail.
And as I’ve read the posts on Facebook in the aftermath of Sean’s death, I’ve realized something not so great about myself.
In the years after high school, I went to college five hours away from home at a school no one in my graduating class attended and only one other guy from my school (two years older than me) attended. After college, I moved to Nashville, went to Vanderbilt, and began my adult life.
And I think I wrote off some people in my class, Sean being one of them. Classmates have written beautiful tributes to him on Facebook, and I missed out on knowing someone because I couldn’t see past my own self-importance. I was so focused on myself, and maybe thought I was better than others.
And I was wrong.
Every day is a gift, and every person is made in the image of God.
And today as I write those words, I mean them. I sense their weight.
May I remember them. May I not miss the opportunities to love others. May I fight the tendency to think I’m better than others. And may I live this day as a gift from God, living every moment and redeeming the time.