"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." –Robin Williams from the movie Dead Poets Society.
My husband wanted a live Christmas tree. Not far from our house a man had set up a roadside Christmas tree market. We stopped by one afternoon and purchased our tree. While we were there the man who ran the market told us that the night before someone had stolen some of his trees. My husband and I told him how sorry we were that had happened to him. We paid for our tree, he loaded it up and we left.
A day or two later I was traveling down that same road. It was late. I saw the man sitting in his truck at his Christmas tree market. I guess he thought he should stay and guard his Christmas trees against the thieves. As I passed by, it occurred to me that he might be cold and he might like a cup of coffee. I was just about to the intersection and there was a convenience store on the corner. I could easily go in, buy a cup of coffee and take it back to him. I had time; there was no hurry for me to get anywhere.
As I sat at that traffic light, I begin to come up with all kinds of excuses why I couldn’t possibly bring this man a cup of coffee. Why was I even thinking I should do something like that? Is it really God asking me to do this? Does the man even like coffee? What if he’s a lunatic and tries to kill me? He’ll think I’m a crazy lady.
The light turned green and I continued on my way home.
I missed an opportunity, as today’s quote says, to “make my life extraordinary”. To do something that would show someone Jesus.
It’s been almost a year and I still remember not following that little nudge on my heart to do something for someone else because God asked me to.
And I could tell you many other stories of times I missed an opportunity to be “Jesus with skin on”. Not just in random acts of kindness either, right in my own home, with my husband and children.
So many times, I have neglected to “seize the day”. I would imagine I am not the only one. We’ve probably all had times in our lives when we haven’t done something that we should have. But the Bible says this Luke 9:62 (ESV) Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." I found this same scripture in The Message when I was looking for references to “seize the day”. Here’s what it says. Luke 9:62 (The Message) Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day."
Wow. Did you get that? It says You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day. The things we don’t do, the opportunities we miss, are all works designed to further God’s kingdom. And when we don’t do them, according to the ESV translation we “are not fit for the kingdom of God”.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I want to be fit for the kingdom of God. I want to take those opportunities every day and be part of furthering His kingdom. I don’t want to miss out on anything God has for me.
But you know what? It isn’t always that easy. It never is, is it? The reason I didn’t take a cup of coffee to that man was because I let the doubts and fears whispered into my ear by the evil one, become what I thought was true. I let myself be deceived. I believed the lie. Sound familiar?
That is why we must always be on guard. Especially when we feel like God is prompting us to do something. . The last thing Satan wants is for us to be obedient. When we are obedient, God’s kingdom flourishes. Satan doesn’t want that. He will do whatever it takes to stop God’s kingdom from going forward.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Oh, and devour us he will, if we let him.
Being “sober-minded and watchful” means we recognize those whispers for exactly what they are, lies, a deterrent, a stumbling block. Once we recognize it, we remove it from our thinking and replace it with what we know to be truth.
Let’s not get tripped up and devoured. Instead let’s focus on the truth and be an example. As believers we are to be a reflection of Jesus and His extraordinary life. In doing that, our lives will be the same to those around us. And that is the goal. To show the people Jesus through our own lives. To be His hands, feet and heart. It’s really the only way to live.
Do the work that God has for you.
Do it today and every day.
Give it all of your energy, all of your effort.
Don’t hold back or procrastinate
Now is the time.
Carpe diem Ladies!