Life is too short to put off what matters. Your family, your loved ones. Spending time with those you care about. I have a dear friend whose brother is in the hospital on life support right now. It was unexpected and sudden.
Last year, my aunt’s father went in for routine surgery, and next thing we knew, he was gone. Before that, my grandmother was diagnosed with and died from cancer within a month’s time — she passed on my son’s due date.
Life is not fair. Life does not take our feelings into consideration. Life hurts.
We deal with loss from the time we are little. To an infant, the loss of warmth and being held can be world-shaking. To a child, loss means saying “goodbye” to Daddy as he goes to work every day. A teen might focus on their loss of independence. But the older we grow, the more familiar we are with loss. Loss of self, loss of others, loss of control.
Loss happens. And we can’t do a thing about it.
We tell ourselves “there will always be tomorrow.” But maybe, there won’t. Maybe it’s worth the sacrifice to do it today. Maybe it will make all the difference to you, to your loved ones, if you stop telling yourself “there will be time later.”
Because the clock doesn’t stop ticking. Time keeps on going, life keeps on happening. And it is not in our control. We can’t control what happens to our loved ones, we can’t control what happens to ourselves.
The only thing we can control is our reaction, our response….
We have adages and proverbs galore that advise against delay, against getting ahead of yourself:
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
- Don’t go to bed angry.
- Don’t let the sun go down on your anger (Eph 4:26).
Because time shows us that waiting …for some things… doesn’t help. Sometimes we need to take action now. Sometimes we need to act impulsively, to exist spontaneously.
Live in the moment, exist in the present, be content with where you are, when you are, and what you are.
Life is too short to put things off. Do what needs doing — do it today.
I feel like I should flesh this post out a bit more, but it just flowed so quickly, I can’t bring myself to really edit the words above. The emotions of loss and our lack of control over life. Sorrows over lost opportunities. All too often I find myself making excuses, procrastinating on what is really important (in the big scheme of things) so that I can accomplish whatever (trival) task I’ve decided needs finishing.
One of the things my toddler likes about his bedtime routine is “tell me about tomorrow.” We talk about what we’ll do tomorrow, our plans, and what we’ll be doing. Oh, if only life were so simple.
“Tell me about tomorrow” — what’s going to happen? I want to know.
I don’t think this changes as we get older either. When life goes “according to plan,” we consider everything to be good and right. It’s when the storms come and we get thrown off course that we really begin to question ourselves. Earlier this week I blogged about my print, Uphill Battle, and how sometimes life is a struggle, but we have the choice to keep plugging away.
We will have troubles in this world, yes. We will face loss. We will suffer. But amidst all those things, we can still choose to persevere… to make the moments that matter be meaningful. The other night, my son chose to have me read The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble at School (disclosure). Right now, I’m hearing Grizzly Gramps in my head, telling Brother Bear, “If you find yourself on the wrong road, don’t just keep going until you’re in over your head – back up and start over on the right road”
…and Mama Bear saying, “It’s never too late to corre