Andy Hollifield 7-1-17
July 1st, the day that marks the start of the second half of the year. Six months have come and gone and like it or not, time marches on. Sometimes we just wish that things would slow down a little bit but it seems like it never does. Less than 6 months till Christmas and 6 mos from today is New Year’s Day. It’s kind of sad how that we allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in time that we can’t seem to enjoy life like we should. I know that I am kind of old school and I don’t do very well with change. I can still remember just waiting with anticipation to turn 16 so I could get my license and get a job. I also got reminded just a few weeks ago, of a time when that very desire almost made me give up one of the most enjoyable and beneficial things in my life.
I was at a retirement gathering for my former band director Roger Caldwell. He reminded me that I had come to him and told him that I had decided to quit the band so I could work more. He said he remembered trying to get me to change my mind and told me, “you have all your life to work and only one more year to be in band.” Of course, as adults usually are, I saw that he was right. I decided I would stay in band because I was a rising senior and I had joined band in seventh grade. I was a drummer and although looking back I realize I was never as great as I thought I was at the time, some of my most cherished memories are wrapped up in being in the band. I remember everyone looking at me with amazement that such a little guy could carry around such a big bass drum and then my Junior and Senior year, I played Tri-toms. They were three drums of different sizes and tones fastened together. Back in the day, they were still made of metal and not the lightweight fiberglass that most are made with today and they were all full size drums like you see in a drum set except bigger. Here I was at 5’5″ and 130 pounds carrying those big drums and I loved for my class mates to see me on Friday nights marching to the stadium playing our cadence as we went. Nothing but drums playing as we marched so all eyes were on us. I guess even then I liked attention definitely more so than I like it now. I looked forward all week to stepping through that gate onto the field and performing. The chill in the early fall air, the sound of drums echoing through the hills around the stadium, man was it ever exhilarating! It may not have done anything for anyone else but I loved it. And then there was the music. The theme from C.H.I.P.S., M.A.S.H., The Greatest American Hero, Hawaii 5-0, Still, and my favorite Hang ‘Em High I believe from a Clint Eastwood western. That was kind of the fight song that got everyone fired up! Oh yeah, I was about to forget the parades. That was back in the day when Asheville still had a “Christmas Parade” and wasn’t ashamed of it. We usually started down the ramp from the Lincoln dealership on the corner of Patton and Clingman. I remember my little cousin Julie standing on the sidewalk yelling and waving in admiration of her older cousin. I was proud to be a part of that. To have those days back again and my youth. I miss my youth, and to have it back and know what I know now, things would be a lot different. I would probably be one of the smartest people any of you know and have more degrees than a thermometer. I would have applied myself a lot more than I did and probably went on to college like mom begged me to do and I would have definitely been a better musician than I am. And to think I almost threw that last year away just to work a minimum wage job making 3.10 an hour. That couldn’t even think about buying those memories that I now cherish so much.
Now, 37 years and 3 joint replacements and 2 bad shoulders later, all I have are those memories and also a few regrets. I regret not applying myself more and getting more education. Most of all, I regret that I didn’t live for the Lord anywhere near like I should have. All anyone knew about me as a christian was that I went to church regular. Other than that, there wasn’t much difference. To have those years back again and do that part different and live up to that potential. To be the witness in front of my classmates that I should have been. But, you can’t turn back time and it definitely waits for no one. Like the old saying says: yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, and today is the present. Today is what we have. It is truly a gift from God. At 52 years old, I have reached the age that I am starting to have a lot more of my reunions in funeral homes. I frequent them a lot more than I ever have.
I guess to sum it all up; we should all live like there is no tomorrow because the day will come that there won’t be, at least not for us. Unless the rapture takes place while we are living, we will all keep that same appointment with death that Hebrew 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. We will all stand before the Lord and give an account of our deeds whether they are good or bad. With that in mind and drawing ever closer day by day, we need to live for the Lord and live large, love much, and laugh often. After all, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” according to Proverbs 17:22. We will only pass this way once so we need to make it count. If you turn around twice, your youth will be gone and your kids will be grown. Time truly doesn’t wait for no one. When I leave out of here, I want it said about me that I was a good man and lived for the Lord and that I enjoyed life and loved people. That is the kind of mark I want to leave. Don’t waste a minute! James 4:14 says “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
This may not have been the most encouraging thing I have ever written but I hope it encourages you to make every day count and tell the folks that are important to you how much you love them. You will one day leave a lot of stuff undone, but don’t leave anything unsaid. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 7-1-17