Today is the day

October 6, 2022

By Jeff Becraft


One of the biggest causes of stress in my life is time. Which is kind of odd… because every single person has the exact same amount of time each day.

Even as a type this, my wife is in New Jersey visiting her mom and sister. Her sister is on the call list for a kidney transplant and Brenda was waiting until that happened to go up there and spend a week with them.

But time keeps ticking. With all the losses in our family over the last few months (and then our son’s dog suddenly passed away and then five days later, we had to have our dog put down… if you don’t own a dog, that probably won’t register as much with you), we talked about how important it was to not wait but to go now to see her mom.

And so she did.

On Tuesday morning, I drove her down to Myrtle Beach airport (cheaper and direct flight). In a phone conversation with our son the night before, he asked me if I was going to go see the beach. I said no… that I would just drive back to Columbia.

But I thought about it the rest of the night and considered that he was right. So after dropping Brenda off, I drove down to Garden City where I have done a ton of camps and retreats with young people over the years. Simply driving down Route 17 brought back so many memories and my heart was filled with thankfulness for all the different experiences and people.

I spent about 35 minutes out on the beach. I was so tired from the early morning drive that I just lay there.

As I was getting up, I remembered a guy by the name of Neal lived in Myrtle Beach. Neal grew up in a children’s home and back in the 90’s, our lives crossed paths when I was with Fairway Outreach. When the thought first came into my mind, I basically dismissed it because I was so tired. What fun would it be to get together and I was just dragging?

In more than one Friday email, though, I have stated that today is the day. If we have someone to talk to or someone to love or someone to forgive, today is the day.

I decided to heed my own advice. I called Neal.

He answered the phone and I told him I was in Garden City. He responded, “You’re kidding me.” I asked him if he wanted to get together for lunch.  He actually lives north of North Myrtle and we decided to meet halfway in Myrtle Beach.

He tells me, “Today is my anniversary.”

I responded, “Man… we don’t need to get together if it’s your anniversary.”

He comes back, “Nah, man… it’s all good. My wife has been trying to get me out of the house anyway. I will bring Maria with me.”

And so the three of us got together for lunch at a food court. Neal even treated me to lunch. Neal and I had reconnected a few months ago at a friend’s retirement reception and that is when I had gotten his phone number.

I had never met Maria before. It was great getting to know her, hearing how her parents met (they had both passed away over the last year), how she and Neal had met, etc. Neal and I swapped stories from the past and what was going on now in our lives. There was a lot of laughter.

Eating Chick-fil-A, hanging out with the peeps, reconnecting… it doesn’t get any better than this. It was one of the highlights of 2022 for me. And I almost missed it.

Hurricane Ian has already done incredible damage and who knows the extent of the impact it will have in South Carolina. Storms can be a stark reminder to us of what is really most important.


Jeff Becraft is the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].