by Fr. Frank J. Timar, M.S.C.
Every so often we see a sign that says: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect, for I shall not pass this way again.”¹Yesterday is gone forever. Life is constantly on the move, and once any part of life has passed us by, it is gone forever. Do we even remember what we wanted to do yesterday? Maybe you intended to tell your wife how much she means to you and how grateful you are for her. But the time slipped away, and you never got around to doing that. You missed your chance. Any opportunities we missed yesterday are lost forever, and this happens every day.
Jesus was always optimistic and hopeful. But He was also realistic. He faced facts and confronted people with them. He wanted us to know that, though we may have another chance, opportunities don’t last forever. We can be hopeful about tomorrow. But we should not dare to presume upon it. Take advantage of the day! When we are young, all of life’s opportunities seem to be open. We can do or become almost anything. No dream is beyond possibility. But as we grow older, we find out that our choices narrow down and we realize that there are some things we can no longer do.
The opportunities of life are not the same for all. Some have more opportunities than others. And some seem to have few or none at all. But there are many things that we can do. We can ask forgiveness of someone we have hurt. We can show our friends that we love them. We can spend less time complaining and more time being grateful. We can stop being critical of others and be quicker to praise. We can give roses to people while they are alive, and not wait until they are dead. If you failed yesterday to tell your wife of your love for her, tell her today. If you failed to hug your children yesterday, they are still right there with you. Don’t let it slip away. We serve a gracious God who wants you and me to make the most of life. He gives us chance after chance to do that. Those who are wise will not miss these opportunities.
- This quote is usually attributed to Stephen Grellet, although its origin is not known with certainty.