Too Early, Too Late

Some days, we don’t feel like running, but we don’t have a good reason to skip.  I’ve heard – and uttered – every excuse available.  It’s too early.  It’s too late.  It’s freezing.  It’s boiling.  I don’t have any clean clothes.  It’s too rainy, dry, cloudy, sunny, snowy, icy (that’s actually a legitimate excuse), windy, or humid.  I’m tired.  I’m too busy.  I can’t find my shoes.  I’m too lazy, slow, old, young, or injured (that’s actually a bona fide excuse if it’s the truth).  However, when it’s not icy and I’m not injured, if I push through the excuses and get out the door, I’m always thankful.  Even a few miles on the dreadmill is better than none at all.  A run provides clarity, energy, and optimism to my day.  Excuses be gone – it’s never too early or too late to start exploring something that’s calling you.

And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  Luke 23: 42-43

Life on Earth is short, no matter how many birthdays you celebrate.  The hours and days can seem endless at times, but considering we’ll spend eternity elsewhere, this is a blip.  I want heaven to be my ultimate home.  To that end, it’s time to put excuses to rest.  Infinite excuses provide counterfeit support for procrastination.  Push them aside.  It’s never too early to tell someone you love them, start talking to God, start exercising, admit a mistake, dust off your Bible, start going to church, eat healthy, or pray for someone you consider a lost cause.  Why wait until rock bottom?  Given the uncertainty of our world, we don’t know when the opportunity will be gone.  On the other hand, it’s never too late to do any of those things.  If I had been present in Luke’s gospel above, I might have concluded it was too late for the criminal on the cross next to Jesus.  But, Jesus resolutely states otherwise.  It’s never too late to improve ourselves or pray for what seems to be a hopeless cause.  Those are God’s specialties.  I recently heard a story of a man lost in alcohol and drugs for 20 years.  One day, in a rock bottom moment, he drove past a church.  He recalled his grandmother quietly mentioning, a few years back, he might want to go in there someday.  After years of passing the church without thought, he went in, wept, and decided it was time to turn his life around.  And, he did.  For 20 years of addiction and the horror it brings, his grandmother prayed for him.  I don’t know if I could maintain that kind of hope.  However, any excuses I could produce would underestimate God.  It’s never too late – or too early – for Him to work a miracle … all things are possible with God.  Life’s too short to wait for the right opportunity and too short to give up hope.  Now is the time.

Dear God, please give us the desire to do what’s important today, without procrastination, and give us hope for all things that appear hopeless.