halo-20817_1280

When Billy Joel’s Song Hits Close to Home

Only the Good Die Young.

It’s a phrase made famous in a song by Billy Joel, and many others have repeated it in the face of grief, or when suffering the loss of  loved ones who have died too young, or too soon — before their time.

The reality is that none of us knows the “appropriate time” a life here on earth should end, nor do any of us have control over when that time will be – short of suicide.  As a Christian, I don’t believe we should ever decide to end our own lives. Only God controls or determines an individual’s life span.

So what do we really mean implying that the good die young?

By good we really mean those who live life constructively, making a positive difference in the lives of others. They consistently project a loving and compassionate influence on almost everyone they encounter. Good people are often said to light up a room by entering it. A proverbial halo, shining with warmth, is often depicted in their descriptions.

That radiance comes from knowing Christ, and knowing that through His death for us, we’re justified and righteous. Those secure in such a relationship with Christ naturally reflect good and happiness. After all, shouldn’t such an existence be the ideal or model of character toward which we all aspire?

Another Terrible Tragedy

Recently my family and I suffered the loss of yet another lovely person and friend who died too young. Gaddy C. Gaspard (ironically pronounced “Goddy”) was a spiritual giant, and he was only 27 years old.  As a teen, Gaddy began working as the Grill and Pool Supervisor at the Country Club of Orlando. Not long ago, he happily and eagerly accepted a promotion to Junior Athletic Director.

A horrific and fiery car accident claimed the lives of Gaddy and two friends. I didn’t know the other two individuals in the car, but I’m confident, by knowing Gaddy, they also were good people that died too young.

Gaddy had a bright and loving influence on my wife, sons, and me that will live on forever. His was the humble and gentle persona of an educated man who held a Masters degree in psychology, never boasting. He made everyone who met him feel that they were the most important person in the world.

My youngest son Toby was shocked and devastated when he heard the news. He said Gaddy had a significant roll in his childhood and represented overall happiness. Gaddy played a large part in teaching him to be more outgoing and to smile more often.

Gaddy was generous with his time, kindness, love, and hugs. He positively affected everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Most importantly, Gaddy was a reverent gentleman who loved the Lord. Countless kids, adults, coworkers, friends, and relatives loved him; they’ll miss him dearly.

Confident in their destiny

In previous blog posts, I spoke of another individual who seemingly left this world way too soon – Christina Grimmie. Like Gaddy, through knowing Christ, Christina lived a life beyond compare. They were both individuals who regularly put the needs of others ahead of their own. They lived good lives, confident in their ways, knowing who is in charge.

sunset-505307_1280

They Leave Us Too Soon

Perhaps it’s a sign of the changing times. But it would appear that many more good people are leaving us too young. Acts of terror in cities around the world are becoming commonplace with devastating effects.

We have no control over God’s will, but we can do our best to live well. Healthy living means taking the best care of ourselves and of one another. By caring for all those around us, we begin to mirror behaviors our Father taught us.

Sadly, it just feels like the best of the good seem to leave us too soon. We frequently hear about the selfless acts of others in the news. Yet they sometimes seem to occur in relatively small numbers, because we’re inundated by the media with examples of hate and anguish around the world. But we should persevere and rest assured that God has a plan. When a loved one is called home, regardless of age, we feel it’s too soon.

Good is All Around Us!

Consider the selfless acts of hundreds of neighbors and friends that pulled together in Louisiana in past weeks as residents battled the effects of historic flooding. Victims and survivors cared for and loved one another through seemingly impossible challenges. They shared their homes, food, clothing and other resources without thinking twice. Hope and faith are the result of seeing these many acts of kindness and generosity. Personally, it’s inspiring and motivates me to live gratefully the same way, alert to the best in everyone around me.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

 

Naturally we are starved to see more. Shouldn’t we all strive harder for the legacies of good? None of us ever knows when God will decide it’s our time to be called home.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22 – 23.

  • Hi Dr. Mark, I am so sorry to hear that your family suffered another loss. I’m sorry this summer has treated you all so badly. I am praying for your family even more than I was before. Gaddy sounds like he was a wonderful person. I’m glad he and Christina both knew Jesus. They clearly lived in a way that made Him proud. They will live on through those whose lives they touched (which is a lot!).
    I don’t know why good people have to leave us so tragically, but I know God has everything under control. He knows what He’s doing, even if we don’t.
    Thanks for writing another great post :)
    -Aly

Share This

Subscribe and Receive an

Advanced Preview of My Book

It is simple and only takes a couple seconds. Your information will be kept private and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Success! You will receive an opt-in email, please confirm your subscription.