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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Later

"Later" is such a dangerous word. It is filled with delays, broken promises, lack of discipline and missed opportunities. Sure, like any other word, it has its positives. It can teach us much about the need for patience or delayed gratification. In some instances, it allows time for seasoning and maturity. But, taken to its extreme, "later" turns into apathy, ignorance, disdain, racism, bigotry...you get the idea. And later, at its worst, becomes "never." Never taking the time to give a hug. Never taking the time to say "I'm sorry." Never getting that relationship started...or mended. Never saying "thank you," "I love you", or "I miss you."

I've had my share of those. I am thankful that they are few. That's because early on in life, someone dear to me taught me the importance of seizing the moment in front of you.

Today, "Coach" died. (To read more about Coach, see this blog entry) I was floored. He had just had open-heart surgery last week and was in good recovery. Friends and family of mine said they had seen him and he looked well. This morning, his time on this earth ended. They found him laying in his yard (my prayers are with all of his family today). And I am more thankful than ever that, when God gave me the chance to say "I love you and thanks" in February, I didn't say, "I'll get to it later."

Whatever it is, no matter how intimidating or overwhelming it may be, you have to be careful about the "laters." The dread of missed chances makes for many sleepless nights. Ask yourself, "If I never get to later, will I be okay with whatever is left undone?" I think you'll find that "now" is a much better time to live in.

2 comments:

Rachel Ashley said...

Hey Ridley! Great post. Don't know if you remember me, but you spoke at my camp a long time ago for Sunnycrest Baptist. Just wanted to say that I appreciate the ministry you've done. Your strength and passion are an inspiration.

God bless,
Rachel Ashley

Susan said...

Ridley-- you are not the only one "floored" over the death of Coach. Our entire community is in shock. I hated to call you this morning and tell you the news. You were special to Coach, too. He asked me for your address and phone number the week after Mama's funeral. I gave it to his wife, Terri the next Wednesday evening, along with a copy of the blog you wrote about him. The following Saturday I went to the UPWARDS basketball games that he was refereeing and he came up to me with a big smile on his face, thanking me for the giving that to him. I could tell you made his day! He said he wondered if he could get you to be his PR agent! Like you, I'm glad you didn't say "later on." We need to let people know how important they are to us. Tomorrow may never come.
Love to you and your family...