I read last night about the untimely death of Fred Thompson.. A quick aside – we use the term “untimely” because we are caught by surprise, and we think it was “before his time” because we imagined (as he and his family did, no doubt) a bright but now unrealized future for him. But isn’t our hope, really, that Fred was in God’s hands and in His plan, and he died according to the munificent design of a gracious, benevolent God?
I briefly met the young man a few weeks ago, after the UW game. My lasting impression was of an exhuberant young man, enjoying his time at Oregon State, excited about his future as a starting defensive tackle for the Beavers. My heart warmed as I watched him, then briefly conversed about him with two good friends of mine, Howard Croom and Rodney Williams. They both knew him, and both had positive comments about the young man, both as a person and as a future contributer to OSU football.
My first thought upon reading the sad news was for Fred’s family. I then sent a text to Howard and Rod, both of whom had heard about the tragedy from their own family members close to the team and to Fred. Rodney reminded me that, in addition to his family which I had remembered, Fred’s friends and his teammates were in need of our prayers. Thanks for that reminder Rod.
In one of those tap-on-the-shoulder twists of fate, when I received the news I was in the final editing of my previous post – a brief examination of death and eternity.
I will not spend any of this post commenting on Mr. Thompson’s qualities as a football player and his anticipated contributions to Beaver football. His value far exceeded his athletic abilities, and the loss felt by his family and his friends is far beyond any loss a fan, such as myself, can begin to feel. Had I not recently met this young man, had I not been so favorably impressed by his youthful exhuberant, yet properly respectful demeanor, I would not have been moved to make this post. I met him, I was impressed by him, I looked forward to watching him grow and mature in character and capabilites, and I looked forward to becoming acquainted, in some small measure, with this young man. That won’t happen. God has different plans.
Isaiah 55:9 – “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
May God’s everlasting peace comfort the family, the friends, and the teammates of Fred Thompson in this time of immense loss and sorrow.