Tag Archives: seize the day

Missed Opportunities

People write letters to advice columnists that can be heart-breaking, confusing, heart-warming, or … stupid:

“Dear Abby, while I was eating lunch the other day, I saw the image of Abraham Lincoln on one of my potato chips. I got so excited, thinking about how I might be able to share this wonderful news (and how much money I could make), I popped the chip in my mouth before I could stop myself and ate it. Is there anything I can do about this?

I don’t know how the columnist answered, but I’ve tried to come up with several appropriate responses but none seem very dignified:

  • Buy more chips, maybe there’s a presidential series.
  • Quit eating chips, there’s too much salt and it may be affecting your brain
  • Have your stomach pumped and have some glue nearby
  • Sift through your …. No, that’s gross
  • It’s too late so move on
  • Have someone take all of your electronic devices away so you cannot communicate again ever

When I think of missed opportunities, this bozo is not what I had in mind. I think of those moments when I could have said the right word … or when I did say the wrong word; when I did the right thing or when I did the wrong thing. I think of that moment when I could have noticed God at work but was too busy, distracted, or clueless. I think of when the prompting of the Holy Spirit was ignored and a divine appointment was missed.

It is wondrous when we pay attention, when we actively listen, when we slow down and open our eyes and ears and hearts. Today you and I will have opportunities. I hope we don’t miss them!

Hey, look at that cloud. Doesn’t that look just like Abraham Linc … Sorry.

 

 

Present

I remember roll call in school. I had to wait a while since my last name started with a “W”. Not that I’m complaining or have issues, but why couldn’t they start with the “Z’s” just once? There was a time when I fervently hoped the teacher wouldn’t read out my whole name. I had classmates that would snicker if she read my middle name, Oliver. As I grew up, I realized that name was something to be cherished, not regretted.

You had to answer when your name was called. The correct response was “present.” I sometimes wondered why “here” or just a hand-raise wouldn’t have worked.

Being present hopefully referred to more than just a physical location. Perhaps our teachers wanted to know if we were ready for a day of learning, or she just wanted to check off the list. Perhaps she was wishing that certain students weren’t present.

There are a lot of clichés that refer to being present in life:

  • Bloom where you’re planted.
  • Seize the day (Carpe Diem)
  • Be where your feet are
  • The only easy day was yesterday

The apostle Paul wrote that he had learned to be content (Philippians 4:11). Jesus encouraged us to live one day at a time (Matthew 6:34). There is a reason why the last commandment in Exodus 20 forbids coveting. It was intended to liberate us from wanting something we didn’t or couldn’t have. The grass may look greener on the other side, but is it? Art Linkletter once asked one of his young guests what that saying meant. The boy answered, “The grass is greener because that guy uses better fertilizer than you.”

Be present today. Live in your moment. Appreciate your life. Count your blessings.