Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A post for my friend - Sebastian


We can, with a degree of certainty, predict when the sun will rise and set yet there isn’t accuracy in the laying of dew or the dispersing and disappearing of a morning fog. And, as much as we want to know how long we have to pursue our goals, that time is uncertain.  

James 4:14

New Living Translation (NLT)

14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

Recently I was told that a great friend passed away. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been charged to bring light into dark places. Often our presence can and should change the atmosphere of a room because of the power living inside us. I can honestly admit that Sebastian Young took that responsibility with great pride. From the moment we met, I was amazed at his passion for people. He invested his time, money, and resources into people without asking for reimbursement. I can’t tell you how many street solicitors he supported by purchasing music, DVDs, pies, and whatever else they were peddling. However, that often came at a great cost. He spent so much time looking out for others that he would often neglect himself.

While writing his first book together – I learned about the tragic death of his mother and how he used it as a catalyst to succeed in the face of adversity. We laughed about his Grandfather’s analogy of women and coke bottles, we were encouraged by the birth of his daughters, and we cried as he described the death of his close family members. Through it all, “he had every excuse to fail – but he chose none.”

When the book was published, he carried it around and showed it off as if it were a newborn baby. He took pictures, built a popular Facebook fan page, and spoke in several venues regarding the publication. Excited by the book’s success – Sebastian called me to begin his second book.

His thoughts were everywhere! It was like he verbally exploded every time we met. Sebastian started as a client and quickly became my friend. We hung out in his personally designed backyard, ate his amazing peach cobbler, and destroyed chicken sandwiches from the office restaurant next door. My fondest memories range from him being an IPhone hater and team Galaxy Smart Phone to our random push up contests in the Colbert/Ball Tax office. (I’m sure the employees and random customers were amused)

While writing his second book, he penned this thought,

“Your tolerance to pain is not what God is looking for – God is looking for you to change in your mind.”

This nearly cryptic saying didn’t make sense to me until today. Sebastian called me the evening he had a heart attack. I missed the call. The next morning he called again and said, “I’m in the hospital, bring me a red bag of skittles and some Arizona tea.” I laughed, “skittles and tea, anything for you!” I called and text over the next few days but got no response. Then I got the call that he was gone. My heart sunk as memories flooded my thoughts.

I was mad at everyone. I was at me for not going back to the hospital sooner, I was mad at his friends for not telling me his condition worsened, and I wanted to be mad at my friend for leaving without saying good-bye.

I faked a smile and suffocated my true feelings. Then I read his quote about pain.

What good was all of the time we spent detailing our dreams if I was not going to do anything about them. Instead of withholding my thoughts until they became toxic pimples prepared to pop I needed to make a change. I believe people expend more effort proving they can handle pain than they do pushing to address it and create change.

So, here it is. My change. I don’t know when my life’s vapor will disappear. Yet, just as the Sun removes the dew, The Son will call me home. And all I want to hear is, “Well Done!”

I believe God is saying well done to my friend Sebastian.