I heard the phrase from one or both of my parents, several of my teachers and a few coaches when I was younger. It is the idea, “Do not wish your life away.” One of my coaches actually sat me down for a face-to-face discussion of where I thought I was going. He wanted to be sure I was thinking of living my life well, and not just daydreaming about coasting through life.
I am amazed by the stories I hear or articles I read about people in the news and the grief they deal with due to the choices they make (some good, some not so good, and some out of their control). People deal with trouble and problems in various ways, and their stories are interesting segments or vignettes. Sometimes they are more than even mere obituaries, because they hold something that tugs at my heart. There are little bits of information that makes it personal.
I read about men who worked hard and make lots of money, but sacrificed family life and time with their kids; people who marry once, twice, and still cannot find happiness; A male movie star or athlete who marries and has a child with more than one woman, then walks away; People who carry bitterness around way too long; Soldiers who die too young in the service of their country; People who delay doing the things they desired to do, and now it is too late.
As I read these sorts of stories, I think: Am I spending enough time wishing for something to happen someday in the future that I miss out on an opportunity I have today? What am I waiting for? Am I waiting for just the right time? Am I delaying because I do not sense or feel the proper feeling? What is stopping me from doing something right now?
Read Colossians 4:2-6.
The ancient writer of the 1st century letter to the Colossians in the New Testament is a man named Paul. He wrote to give instructions to some of the first Christians in Colosse on how to live like Jesus intended them to, and he told them to “make the most of every opportunity” (4:5).
Paul said to “devote yourselves to prayer and be watchful,” meaning to continue steadfast, or persevere (with strength and fervor), in prayer. Be spiritually aware and awake to what is going on around you on campus, in your city and state, around the country, and globally. Be alert to the things that may detour you from being devoted to godly resolve and living to honor Christ. Satan and the weakness of human nature will try to cause you to neglect prayer and get distracted. We must discipline ourselves in prayer and obedience in order to pursue Christ and His purposes.
Paul was confidant God was working on his behalf by opening and shutting doors to guide his life and service. Paul said to pray for open doors…knowing the fruitfulness of our lives and our witness depended on God’s providence. Be sure your speech is pleasant, kind, and gracious. May it be “seasoned with salt,” so it is appropriately marked with purity, not corruption.
How are you spending your time, energy, talent, and resource in these uncertain days? Take the opportunities God gives you to pray, witness, serve, study, excel, and live the best you can with God’s help. Don’t wish your life away by waiting for the perfect time. That time is now.
As you look around campus, your neighborhood, and the world, what opportunities are available to you? Serve globally. When opportunity knocks, open the door, and make a difference.
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz