Sunday December 9 - "Goodbye"

posted Jan 3, 2013, 11:44 AM by Andy Koetz

I hated him and I loved him. Mike “Zeke” Alexander was my high school football coach. He was a Marine Vietnam veteran. He grew up right there in Benton Wisconsin like the team he was coaching was doing. I knew his siblings. My Dad bought insurance from his Dad. His picture was in the trophy case from back when he played for the Mighty Zephyrs.

He caused me so much pain. He ran training camp comparable to boot camp. The same psychology of disciplines and punishments were used. He used anger and hate, reward and encouragement very effectively. “Everybody on the line,” is a phrase that still unsettles me.

He also taught me so much. I am not sure if that was his plan, but he did. Commitment, sacrifice, work, intensity were just a few things I carried away from knowing him.

A few years after I had moved on he was diagnosed with cancer. He was one of the estimated one million people adversely affected by Agent Orange. Mom kept me updated on his progress as I was now living in another state. Then during one of our conversations I remember asking how he was doing. Mom replied how the funeral had been huge and began to describe the lines and the people. I was dumbfounded. What funeral? When was this? Why didn’t you tell me?

I had missed my opportunity to talk to him one last time. He is the one person in this world that I feel like I have business with that will never be finished. I knew I probably had limited time but I had delayed and now it was too late.

It is interesting how we can procrastinate something as important as attending to a relationship when there is nothing pressing us to act. That is a shame.

There are people we need to have conversations with. Some thanks need to be expressed. Apologies made. Forgiveness sought. Love given. Misunderstandings settled. Debts pardoned.

Who needs to hear what from you this week? God is clear. Before we can get things right in our relationship on the vertical with Him, we need to settle some horizontal relationships.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Make the call.