Does anyone remember the “Missed Connections” category from Craigslist? I would read them occasionally when I was bored and always felt a sense of sadness for what could have been, but it was also exciting to think about the connection somehow being made if the right person just happened to read the post (I wonder if that ever happened!)
A few recent events in my life have triggered some deeper reflection on my own missed opportunities and connections. When I lived in South Carolina, my next door neighbor and I developed a close friendship near the time that I was about to sell my house and move. She was an older lady in her 70’s who had lost both of her children and was divorced, so she didn’t have much of a support system around. She always appreciated having someone to talk to and while we were out doing yard work, we would talk about life, how much she missed her children, and she told me stories about all of their accomplishments and good memories together. She wanted to take me by her late son’s house and show me all the improvements and additions he made to it, so I agreed that we should go to lunch and take a drive out to the house “someday soon”.
Well, I got busy with moving and kept putting off going to see her until a few months later. The day I returned to my neighborhood to stop by, her car was gone and I asked my neighbor across the street if he had seen her that day. He looked at me sadly and let me know she had passed away about a month ago from a heart attack. I was shocked and tried to hold back tears, realizing that I would never get to speak with her again. God had given me the opportunity to show love to her and to be the friend she needed, but I forfeited that by being so focused on myself.
Jesus said, ‘No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.’” (Luke 9:62 MSG)
Oh, how it hurts when you realize you’re too late. I never want to feel that way again. I want to listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit when He nudges me to reach out to someone, to make a call or visit, or to lend a helping hand. So often I’m lazy and not generous with my time. I want to use it for myself and my own interests, but God is calling me to listen to Him daily and give freely of my time, not putting other people off until it’s “convenient” for me.
I no longer want to use the crutch of “someday soon we’ll do this”. I pray that I will become intentional about connecting and spending time with those in my life, making definitive plans and keeping them. Will you join me in this endeavor of being present in the moment and prayerfully seizing every opportunity that God gives you?
Redeem the time—God only knows
How soon our little life may close;
As every passing moment flows,
Redeem the time!