“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
Good morning, friends! The day is passing quickly and my time is precious today so let’s get to it.
Many things have been taught to me as a pastor and none of them greater than the lessons of death. Obviously I don’t mean I’ve died yet (!). I’ve simply seen death so many times that I am an acquaintance of death. We are not friends nor are we enemies but we certainly know one another pretty well. And most often when we meet I see behind it a trail of unmet and untried disappointments.
My wife has a friend who is a family cook named Mrs. Cook! She loves to bake things for friends and organizations. For a long time she heard statements akin to, “You should do this for a living.” People with particular talents occasionally hear such phrases. Mrs. Cook frequently deferred until one day she made a batch of cookies for a client. One batch led to three, then to ten, and now she bakes and decorates cookies all the time and sells them all over the country. How much joy did she put off to tomorrow and for how long? How much regret would she have felt had she never decided “Today is the day.”?
Professionals more in tune than me with death suggest that unmet regrets are powerful emotions at the ultimate moment. None of us would do well to rush head long into every whimsy but I think we all know the difference between a whimsy or passing fancy and deep held desire. Why do we hold on to our whimsies and defer our deep desires? To do so is a daily gamble with deep, deep regret. So many things we will accomplish today, this week and this year mean little or nothing, yet the few things we know matter deep in our hearts will get scant attention. Death has told me many times, “I don’t care.” Do you?
Listen, I know how tempting it is to roll the dice on tomorrow, to chase the rabbit of whimsy rather than the big game of desire. And the house seems to let us win, a lot. But my experience with the house (death) has taught me that the house always wins. Quit playing with your time. Stop gambling away your desires. Do today the thing that matters most to you, not just for today but for all time. It may take some work to figure out what that thing is and when you do make that thing the priority of every day. And when death comes calling for you, say, “I won!” with no regrets. I know you can do it! Do you? Have a great week.