Just Finishing Up
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
The apostle Paul’s words come to mind today as I it was nine years ago today that Eddie Taylor, son of Calvary Chapel Aurora pastor Ed Taylor and his wife Marie died after collapsing in his yard a few weeks earlier due to cardiac arrest. Eddie was just 26 years of age when the Lord called him home. At the time of Eddie’s death he was married to his beautiful wife Rachel and together they were raising their young son Levi. Eddie was a State Trooper in Colorado and from an earthly perspective he was just getting started and yet from heavens perspective he was just finishing up. Actually those words, “just finishing up” were Eddie’s last words as he was working in the yard of his home. His wife Rachel came outside to tell her husband she had fixed him lunch and it was ready. Unbeknownst to her Eddie’s response would be his last words this side of heaven. Eddie, with a look of pleasure on his face said to his wife, “just finishing up, I love you”.
I never knew Eddie personally but since I follow his dad’s ministry which includes sermons, books and articles that speak openly about Eddie, his life and its impact on this world as well as the chasm his death created and the pain that must be lived with when you lose someone you love, I feel like I do. I was praying for pastor Ed and his wife and children this morning as they go through another year of “firsts” without Eddie. Even though it’s been nine years since Eddie went home to be with the Lord in many ways it feels just like the first. Every year is a first as this is the first 9th year they are forced to face without their son, brother, husband, dad and friend. In many ways it never gets easy and for sure no one gets over it. Pastor Greg Laurie may have said it best in an interview he did this week in the wake of the school shootings in Uvalde Texas. Regarding the pain we feel that comes with grief pastor Greg said, “The depth of your sorrow is an indication of the depth of your love.”
Today, as I think about Eddie I am reminded of his last words, “just finishing up… I love you” that remind me of Jesus words from the Cross where He cried out, “It is finished.” From everything I have learned about Eddie and his work ethic and his commitment to God, to his family and his community Eddie was a young man who followed through, worked hard and finished what he started. In other words he wasn’t a quitter. Those are important traits or characteristics each of us should desire in our own lives, especially in these last days we live. Now, more than ever isn’t the time for sloppy work or distractions. There is much work to be done in making sure the world hears the good news of the gospel.
Thanks to Eddie and his dad I am thinking about running my own race with endurance today, keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and making sure I finish my own race strong as it were. Thanks to Eddie, today I’m thinking about the difference between a great job and a mediocre one. Most often, its the attention we give to the small things that often produce the greatest results. So many powerful lessons to learn from Eddie’s life all these years later. Thank you Jesus for the gift of Eddie. Like the old Rascal Flatts song sings, “it wasn’t long enough but it was long enough to last forever.” Eddie’s mark on so many hearts and lives is indelible. For sure he won’t be forgotten.
Let’s all consider those words today, “just finishing up” as we ponder, what work is God calling us to complete? Is there anything or anyone you are procrastinating? If there is one thing Eddie’s life and death are teaching me this year, time is short this side of heaven so work hard and finish what you start as its one of the best ways to say, “I love you”.
“When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
I LOVE YOU!
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