KEEPING THE FAITH: It’s time

Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 09:53 AM.

Because there is always the temptation, as Frederick Buechner said, “To believe that we have all the time in the world, whereas the truth of it is we do not ... For each of us there comes a point of no return, a point from which we no longer have life enough left to go back and start over.”

We seemed to have celebrated New Year’s Day 2012 just last week. Now that year, with all its promise, joy, heartache, dread, and transition is gone. And before we can catch our breath from the race that was, we lurch forward into another January and another year. The real danger for us all is to come around 12 months from now and be exactly where we were 12 months ago.

Still stuck in a job we loathe. Still planning to take that big chance, or make that big move. Still at odds with the long-estranged loved one with whom we hope to one day reconcile. Still tripping over the same addiction, still trapped in that same poisonous relationship, still stuck in the same soul-sucking routine.

Time is far too short to live like this, and deep in our hearts, we know it. We know that there is an unmerciful ruthlessness to time that demands we spend what we have — all we have — while today is still called today. Because today we still have opportunity. We still have time. We cannot, then, put off until tomorrow, next week, or next year what must and can only be done while there are still seconds in our banks.

The majestic Erma Bombeck, who cannot be improved upon, provides a summary on this point. She wrote, “I have learned that silver tarnishes when it isn't used, perfume turns to alcohol, candles melt in the attic over the summer, and ideas that are saved for a dry week often become dated. When I am asked to give an accounting of my life to a higher court, it will be like this: ‘So, empty your pockets. What have you got left of your life? Any dreams that were unfulfilled?

Any unused talent that we gave you when you were born that you still have left? Any unsaid compliments or bits of love that you haven't spread around?’ And, I will answer, ‘I have nothing left to return. I spent everything you gave me. I'm as naked as the day I was born.’” Amen.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.



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