|Todd at the Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon|
Todd Andrew Sumption, 39, of Cleveland, GA, died in a tragic car accident on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at approximately 9:30 p.m. He was a dedicated follower of Christ and family man, survived by a loving wife and two precious children: an 8 year-old daughter and a 5 year-old son.
Friends come and go in our lives from a variety of circumstances. There are school friends, college friends, work friends, church friends, and common interest friends. Todd was in my Sunday school class at Concord Baptist Church in Clermont. He was also my running friend. We had done a 5K and half-marathon together, and we were planning to run our first marathon together on October 28, 2012. Todd and I last spoke exactly two weeks before his death; we discussed the upcoming marathon and were excited about training for it together.
Today, I have lost more than just a running buddy. A friendship was lost that was only beginning to unfold. A positive influence was lost – a good, decent man who shared a love of faith, family, the outdoors and physical activity.
There was always a palpable joy in being around Todd Sumption. He was such a mild-mannered human being. Todd Sumption was a role model who faithfully met his duties and obligations toward his family, his church, his employer, and his fellow man. Todd Sumption was a good man, a decent man, a faithful man, a hardworking man . . . the kind of man for which this world is in desperate need.
Now, unfortunately, that man is gone.
At least on this side of eternity.
You see, Todd Sumption is not really gone. To the contrary, he is very much alive. Oh, his physical flesh was temporarily interrupted by a car accident, but Todd . . . he is surely alive and well. His spirit was instantly in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the moment of passing from this momentary life into eternal life. Todd is now experiencing ultimate fulfillment, peace and joy in the presence of his creator. Todd is doing just fine.
Unfortunately, he leaves behind a grieving widow and two orphaned young children whose lives have been instantly and irrevocably changed. No doubt that family and friends will rally around the survivors to minister in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Good people will come alongside the grief-stricken to stand in the gap. But no one will ever replace Todd Sumption’s physical presence in the life of his family. That emotional wound will endure.
In this life, people are born and people die. We do not choose the date of our arrival or the date of our departure. We do not choose the manner in which we enter or exit this world. We are not in control.
Death is a known, inescapable part of life; there is an appointment for every one of us. We will all give an account of our lives to the one who created us. It is appointed unto to man once to die, and then comes the judgment.
Despite intellectual and spiritual knowledge of death, its effect on the living is never easy. Whether via miscarriage, sickness, or car accidents, we are never prepared to say goodbye to our loved ones. Death is never convenient. It never feels right. It never seems ok. We want to live with our loved ones forever. That’s because God has placed eternity in our hearts. Thanks be to God, who made a way for eternal life through Christ Jesus the Son! For believers in Christ, the response to death is not, “Goodbye forever” but instead “See you later.”
My heart aches for a widow and her two orphaned children in Cleveland, Ga. I mourn the loss of a friend. But because of Christ, and CHRIST ALONE, there is hope. This temporary life is not the goal. Death is not the end. Rather, life is like the cover page to a never ending story, and death is like the turning of the page. C.S. Lewis explained it nicely in his book, The Last Battle.
Todd Andrew Sumption, age 39, fought his last battle on July 14, 2012.
He fought the good fight. He finished the race. He kept the faith.
Well done, Todd. You finished strong!
When my race in this life is complete, I’ll see you at the finish line.
|Todd at the Thanksgiving Day race with daughter Sarah and friends from church, including James.|
|Todd, Tamara, Kory, and Sarah|
A drunk driver took his life on a Saturday night, and now two kids are without a Daddy, and a sweet friend is without a partner, provider, and most heartbreakingly, the love of her life. We won't forget you Todd, and will do our very best to take care of the family you were called away from. We miss you.