For those that have not, the church bus was on the way back to Indianapolis after a week of youth camp. As they made their way home, while only about a mile away from the church, the bus driver lost control of the bus and it flipped.
The youth pastor Chad Phelps and his wife Courtney as well as chaperone Tonya Weindorf died on impact. Courtney was pregnant and was due in August.
As I heard the news reports I could not help but think that I had heard those names before, but I could not place it. As more reports came in, I found out that Chad and his wife graduated from Bob Jones University in 2011. We were classmates.
As pictures began to surface of him and his wife, I recognized both of them. I cannot say that I knew them personally, but I definitely had classes with them. I think I even competed in intermural sports with Chad.
It turns out the saying is true. Life is short.
Life is not something we are guaranteed. It is not something to be taken for granted.
In James 4:14 it says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
From everything I have heard of the Phelps and Tonya Weindorf, they were not people to have squandered the time that they had, but what about us?
I recently wrote about this in Memory or Legacy: It’s Up to You. What will we do today that will be remembered tomorrow. What kind of legacy do we want to leave?
The Phelps’ left behind a two-year-old little boy. He was on the bus during the accident and miraculously survived. He will not remember his parents. He will only know of what other people tell him about them.
What do you want for people to remember about you?
What stories do you want to be told about your life?
I am a father to two young children, and they probably think I’m a little crazy the last few days because I have been hugging them incessantly. I cannot shake the thought of them having to grow up not remembering me.
It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday and not be fully present when we are with our families.
I hope each and every one of you are around for a long time, but if the statistics hold true someone that is reading this will die before their time. Even as I was writing this, in the back of my mind I am thinking, “But it won’t be me.” How foolish a thought that is.
The Phelps didn’t think it would be them either.
Live your life for the things that are important.
What are the important things?
What would wish you had done when you are laying on your deathbed?
Do those things now.
You will not regret it.
If you would like to help support the Phelps’ son Chase, click here to go to the fundraising page.