Opportunities come and go in our lives. Most poignantly, they happen in small slices of time. A moment’s hesitation and a job prospect is gone. One second more and that car would have sideswiped you. The phone sounds its last ring and you grab it in time to hear the apology you've been praying for. You crest the hill at exactly the same moment the sunset sky reaches its most glorious and spectacular release of color and light.
It’s hard not to have the Les Mis song, “One More Day”, as a mental soundtrack when contemplating missed opportunities. In a few days we’ll be marking the first anniversary of the death of my best friend’s husband. It was unexpected. It came at a time that was not convenient to our schedules. But in God’s good providence and wisdom, it was time for Mark to go.
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15)
Not a day goes by for my friend that she doesn’t think, “If only I had one more day . . . ” Her list of what she would say and do is endless. He wasn’t my spouse, but I have a short list, too. One more cup of his fantastic coffee. One more eyeroll over his goofy middle school sense of humor. One more text to ask him about a procedural detail when I’ve been put on the spot at a meeting.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
With another friend recently losing her even younger husband in an equally unexpected death, I’ve thought less about what to do if I had one more day, and more about what to do with this one more day that I have before me.
One more day to say what I wish I’d said but didn’t.
One more day to do what I wish I’d done but didn’t.
One more day to acknowledge with fear and trembling -- and joy and peace -- that God holds the boundaries of time and space in his almighty, all-powerful, and fully good and merciful hands.
So teach us, Lord, to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
I can honor God and the memory of his faithful servant Mark by making good on those pledges to make each day count through being Christ’s ambassador to those around me and glorifying the one who keeps the time for all of his created universe.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.(Ecclesiastes 3:1)
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8)
One more day, one more thousand years. What does it matter to me? If the Lord has his purposes to fulfill and has granted me the treasure of being a part of it for a time? May I not squander this gift.
** Five Minute Friday (FMF) is a weekly event hosted at the website of Kate Motaung wherein participants are given a single word prompt every Thursday evening, which remains active for one week. How to play: write for 5 minutes on the thoughts, memories, impressions, reflections, aspirations, hopes, beliefs, convictions, or whatever, that that prompt word brings to mind. Set a timer, write without worry about spelling or grammar or typos, and stop when the timer goes off (no cheating). The rules are here. It's free, it's non-committal, and it's easy to participate, so come to the #FMFparty with me! This week, the word was MORE. (Disclaimer: I usually start a piece according to the rules, and then it develops into a regular blog post.)
Laura England Miller