It was a rough morning …
We arrived at church and my husband set out to locate our friend Howard. Not finding him in the chair he usually gravitated to in the coffee area, Sonny asked someone if he knew how Howard was doing.
We were heartbroken to not only learn that he’d passed away the previous weekend while we were out of town, but that we’d missed the funeral held only the day before. We hadn’t received any notice of his death or the celebration of his life.
Howard and his wife had been of the first couples to welcome us to the church when we decided to find a place closer to home. During the two years we’d attended there, they’d greeted us with warm smiles and hugs, and they’d checked in on our lives.
The two men found common ground, and over the past year started to develop a friendship. They met for an occasional breakfast, and Howard helped us with some remodeling projects in our home.
But you see, over that course of time, we discovered that Howard was battling cancer. For awhile, his health continued to improve. His color came back and he had a lot more energy. He looked and acted like the man we first met. But things took a turn, and we knew they weren’t going to get any better.
Sonny and Howard talked about getting together for ice cream and some “guy time.” But life got busy, and several weeks went by without setting a date.
Only now, it was too late for that ice cream.
A “missed opportunity” means there might be another chance. But we experienced a “lost opportunity.” There are no more options.
Our friend loved Jesus, and we know he’s basking in the Lord’s presence now. But until we can join Howard there, we’ll miss seeing him here. My husband can’t go back and share another breakfast with his friend. We won’t have another chance to be at his funeral to say good-bye and be a support that day to his wife.
This experience has been a reminder that we can’t put off spending time with people who are important to us because we think tasks need to be checked off our “to-do” list. And when we say we’re going to do something—we need to follow through to the best of our abilities.
I don’t want to live a life of regret and lost opportunities . . .
How about you? Is there something in your life today that you need to do?