Don’t wait ’til it’s too late | Faith | The Press and Standard

by | February 21, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: February 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm

As a young girl growing up in Wesley United Methodist Church here in Walterboro, I used to hear the “old soldiers on the battlefield for the Lord” sing, “This may be the last time/This may be the last time, children/This may be the last time/May be the last time, children, I don’t know.”
I didn’t know what this song and the repetition of the lyrics were all about at the time, but I do know now.
We never know when our last time is going to be to do anything, such as worship with others in a church service or spend some quality time with that special someone. Therefore, we should never take anyone or anything for granted. We should live each day as if it were our last. Ecclesiastes 7:14 confirms these two points: “On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.” (MSG).
We all probably have heard, at one time or another, about those who pay a parent or their parents no attention, and then that fateful day comes. One of the parents has swapped time for eternity, and some of the children do all except take the parent out of the coffin at the service.
It is too late then. What about a time when someone asks a favor, and it is ignored? This person was really in need when he asked, but his request was not even dignified with at least a verbal response. Then later on, it is discovered that this person was truly in need and died in abject poverty.
I know that we cannot take every request seriously because there are people who are known scammers. My point is that don’t have your mind already made up before you are asked, because sometimes the request is legitimate. Later on when the truth is told, you are sorry, and it is then too late.
Sometimes our children take us for granted, not knowing what all we have to go through in order to provide a decent living and a Godly upbringing for them. They must learn that there is no “magic wand” that makes things happen for them in an instant.
R&B singer Patti LaBelle wrote a song dedicated to her late sister Jackie. I heard LaBelle perform this song once, and she told the story behind it first.
It was in 1989 that her youngest sister was very sick and wanted her to go home, prepare her an egg sandwich and bring it to the hospital. LaBelle had been on the road touring and was extremely tired when she got the request. She told her aunt to tell her sister that she would make the sandwich and bring it the next day. LaBelle kept her word, making the sandwich the next day.
As she was about to leave to take the sandwich, she called her aunt to let her know that she was on the way to the hospital to bring the sandwich to her sister Jackie. Her aunt told her not to rush because her sister had just passed away.
It has been many decades since the loss of her youngest sister to lung cancer, but having not fulfilled her sister’s dying request still haunts her to this day. Her youngest sister’s death left  LaBelle with a new perspective on life.
“Do everything you can for your family,” LaBelle says. “Life is strange. Take advantage of each day like it’s the last day of your life.”
A request so simple can leave us with years of unnecessary torment. Sometimes we must sacrifice and put ourselves on the back burner for others. because it is not always all about us. It is what we do for others that will ultimately count.
As a mother, I am not perfect — as no one is — but I have no regrets because I never took my children for granted. I did my very best for them, even when I was tired, both physically and mentally, and in times when I did not know where the money was coming from for the next meal or for the one who needed a new pair of shoes.
However, the Lord always makes a way out of “no way.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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