Tomorrow might be too late! | Faith
by The Press and Standard | September 23, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm
I have always been taught, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today!” However, all of us have been guilty of procrastination at some point or another.
Do you have beautiful china, crystal, and flatware decorating your cabinet that you probably have not used within the last five years? Do you have that dress or suit that you just had to buy three years ago, still hanging in your closet for that special occasion? Do you have an expensive piece of jewelry that you wear maybe once or twice a year? Are you and your spouse still holding on to that pocket of money that you have been saving for a special trip for the longest time, but still haven’t even decided where you are planning to vacation? When are you going to visit “Aunt Mary” or “Uncle Henry” who has been in the nursing home for a decade, and has always been asking other family members about you? Have you taken the time to make your final wishes known? Have you been saying for the last several years that you are going to go to church or join the church, yet that moment has never arrived?
There are several verses of Scripture that make references to procrastination. Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV) says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Therefore, putting off until tomorrow what you can do today might just be too late!
None of us know the day or the hour when we will depart this world. Not knowing this is probably a good thing because given our nature as human beings, if we knew, we would try to interfere with the whole process and the outcome. What a mess we would create! Consequently, our departure is left in the hands of the Creator.
What we must do is get prepared to leave. We should live each day to the fullest, and enjoy life. However, in whatever we do, God belongs first. This is confirmed in Matthew 6:33 (KJV): “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Waiting for tomorrow to do things that we should do today can leave very important things undone. As humans, we procrastinate sometimes because we do not want to face the reality of a situation(s).
Something that I have been doing for a long time in my family is helping to make final arrangements for deceased loved ones. This process can be very overwhelming, and sometimes confrontational. However, the God in me has given me the strength, wisdom, and knowledge to help every time I have been needed during these hours of bereavement.
Approximately six years ago, I faced the reality that one day I am going to swap time for eternity. I do not want my family to have to make all the decisions about my final arrangements; therefore, I set up an appointment with our family’s mortician to plan for my final wishes. I have to say that it was a very difficult time for me to do this, but I do not regret taking care of this vitally important matter.
During the time of bereavement, families need those moments to be together and to help each other get through it. Having to spend so much time planning and making final arrangements for a loved one can be burdensome, so why not relieve your family of some of this ahead of time?
In the words of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” As we all know, we cannot return to the past and live our lives again. Therefore, live each day as if it were your last, and don’t procrastinate. Take care of important things, and stop waiting on the right time for everything because time is not going to wait on you.
As you ponder this week’s message, let this illustration, “Live Life Over,” written in memory of Erma Bombeck, journalist and television personality, arouse your thinking about things that you are constantly putting on the back burner.
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER:
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television — and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I love you’s” … more “I’m sorry’s”… but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute … look at it and really see it … live it … and never give it back.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)