Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Tucker
“The farmer had to tow his tractor out of the field because it died and that’s all she wrote.” We’ve heard this colloquialism many times. Our life can be compared to the pooped-out tractor — one minute it’s running and the next it’s not. Our days on earth are numbered and we don’t know the day nor hour of our last breath. When the heart stops beating, “that’s all she wrote” because life is all over, completely finished, done for.
I’ve heard, “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” I’ve also heard, “Never do today what you can put off ‘til tomorrow.“ The problem with procrastination is there’s no assurance we’ll even have a tomorrow. Bill and Gloria Gaither composed the contemplative song, “We Have This Moment.” Some of the lyrics are: “Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today.” All we have is right now — that’s it! We need to make sure we live our moments carefully and wisely. “People have to die once. After that, God will judge them” (Hebrews 9:27 NIRV).
When eternity knocks on your door, whatever you’re doing at that moment will be the last thing you ever do on this earth. So if you put off something that you fully intend to do, it will be too late to git ’er done when you’re dead. Believers should never practice procrastination as a usual way of life. “So if you know of an opportunity to do the right thing today, yet you refrain from doing it, you’re guilty of sin” (James 4:17 TPT).
There’s no guarantee of another day or opportunity to make things right with someone we have a grievance against. Today is the day to offer the apology, forgive the offender, pay the debt, say the compliment, own the blame, show love, extend mercy, etc. Don’t withhold blessing someone when it’s in your power to do so. Procrastination is often associated with depression, guilt, and regret. You certainly don’t need that baggage weighing you down, so make the decision not to procrastinate so you can live regret-free.
In 2004, Tim McGraw released the song “Live Like You Were Dying.“ Penned by Nashville songwriters Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols, it was a tribute to McGraw’s father who had recently died. The song skyrocketed to #1 for seven weeks and caused people to take a long hard look at how they were living their lives. The storyline involves Tim asking his father what it’s like to live knowing he doesn’t have much time left. “And he said, ‘Some day I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin’. …I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter, and I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’.” These lyrics are powerfully biblical. “Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NCV).
This column is not about dying, it’s about living to the hilt. It’s about not procrastinating in doing what you know to do. It’s about living and dying without any regrets. It’s not about living life perfectly, but rather living life with a perfect heart of love. By the way, the 1970 movie quote, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” is a bunch of baloney. If one of your kids beats his sister over the head with a leg of lamb, you make him say, “I’m sorry.“ It’s simply the right thing to do. We must learn to say, “I’m sorry” and “I love you” because it’s a life-changing moment that will set you free.
The Key: Today is the day to love deeper, speak sweeter, and forgive unconditionally.