Life is filled with unexpected things. We may think we have it all planned out, then a telephone rings, or an email is opened that sends us into a spiral of events that interrupt the rythym of our day-- sometimes our lives. Flat tires. Lay-offs. Health threats. Car accidents. Some are avoidable; some are not. Some we control; some we don't. Some we can thwart, some we can't. Such is life. Missed opportunities never appear twice. Once it is gone, that moment, that space of molecules evaporates. Poof!!
So many folks live trapped in a self-made prison of regret. They're nearly paralyzed by their pasts. They become what they wish they had not, because they are impaled by their own swords of fear and failure. It's like they've nailed their lives to some unseen wall of inadequacy, criticism, and blunders. I think at the end of every day we ought to grab a piece of paper and write down all the regrets we have. All the giants we failed to conquer. All the flubs, failures and mistakes we made in the course of living. Then we need to strike a match and burn that list before we waste any precious time dwelling upon lost moments. And "lost" is what missed opportunities are.
You see; time waits for no one. The clock continues to tick whether we sleep or whether we work, whether we laugh or whether we cry, whether we hate or whether we love. Make every moment count. Remember, you cannot make every moment count if you are sitting around on a stump counting yesterday's mistakes and fretting over things you coulda, woulda, shoulda done.
Had my son lived, he would have been 40 years old this week. He use to quip, "Don't sweat the small stuff, Momma. Stop and smell the roses." He loved life. He chose to see his glass half full and lived as though it was filled to the brim. He didn't go thirsty trying to save what he had. He drank from it and with each gulp, he found the secret of living in today--with all its trials. In his last email to me he wrote, "Everything is coming up roses. I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for me next."
Within days, Chad's "next" became heaven's gate. He entered the glory of God and all its fullness. He stepped from this life of trial and error, into life of unending joy and everlasting peace. He left his dishes in the sink, his bed unmade, his clean shirts in the dryer, unopened bills on the dining-room table, and the 15-pound of potatoes he'd purchased that day on the living room floor. As any good mother and father would do, we cleaned up his messes, tidied up the world he'd left as best we could, then made mashed potatoes.
This hour, this moment-- it's all you have. You don't have yesterday anymore; so stop bringing it into today and crowding out the hours you have to enjoy the splendor of life. We may try to capture each moment with videos, cameras, phones and gadgets, but we cannot bring back time and undo the done. We can only accept it, make the best of it, and forget about it. Don't waste a lot of time thinking about tomorrow--no matter what the song says. Bloom where you are planted; strike while the iron is hot. Be the light, the salt, the fragrance of God to all you come in contact with today. And don't forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.