Do It Now

17 Jul

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.  Do it now.”  ~ Paulo Coelho

I think there is something that rings true for almost all of us.  No matter how much we look forward to doing things and how much we plan, there is a lot that we never actually accomplish.  For one reason or another, we drop plans before completion.  I have a couple of friends who prove that over and over again just in terms of vacation.  They plan for a vacation, even to the point of purchasing airfare, and at the last minute decide not to go.

Doing so, they lose out on a number of things.  First of all, they lose out on the money that their ticket cost.  Second, they lose out on the opportunity to get away.  Third, they lose out on the chance to rest and recuperate.  While at home and for a while into the future, they will even grump and groan about not having a vacation for a long time.  When I ask them why they canceled their last vacation, they look at me blankly, perhaps giving me an excuse or two.

One day, Coelho reminds us, we will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do all the things that we’ve always wanted to do.  I’ve seen that many times in couples as they approached retirement.  They planned for all sorts of things post-retirement, often putting off on the opportunity to go away on vacations because they didn’t want to make the time while still employed.  Then, when they retired, one of the couple ended up getting sick and all their plans were for naught as they could no longer go anywhere.

I’ve also seen people do this in terms of living their spiritual lives.  They often say that they are going to start volunteering somewhere or start going to visit the sick or the shut-in.  They say that but they never get there.  Then, when they want, something happens in their lives that prevents them from going out.  They never took the chance to visit the shut-in and then became shut-in themselves.

Do it now.  That is the clarion call of our faith.  Jesus never said to His disciples, “Go out and proclaim the Good News next week.”  No.  His commissioning of His disciples was always immediate.  In some of the Gospel passages, Jesus tells parables about people who must go out immediately, leaving family and friends behind.

If we are not willing to do for the Lord today, we are not really faithful disciples.  We cannot tell Jesus, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you.  Next week.  Next month.  Next year.  When I retire.”  No.  When we say, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you,” we should mean that we will follow immediately.

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t put off doing any longer.  Make today count.