The Missed Opportunities of Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve

I’m going to screw this all up.  It should’ve been a better article had I not waited until midnight to write it.  I could’ve been in bed cuddling my two girls had I not wasted time earlier.  I would’ve been sleeping by now if I had made different choices.  We all do it, all day long.  The could have, should have and would have moments of life are all too prevalent in the back of our mind.  I could have been better.  I would have done more.  I should have accomplished more.

Missing cuddle time with my girls is tragic; it’s moments that I will never get back.  Feeling my little one’s fingers stroke my hair as she falls asleep is priceless.  It is a snapshot of time that will never happen again.  When you miss it, you miss it for good.

The same is true for missed ministry opportunities.  I could’ve had my quiet time today if I hadn’t slept in.  I should’ve talked to that person about Christ, but I was scared.  I would’ve volunteered, but no one asked.  When you miss these opportunities, you miss out on the best God has for you in that moment.

God is ever present (Psalm 46:1), always loving, freely giving of grace, hope, love, mercy and joy.  All you need to do is follow Him.  Follow him freely, openly and completely.  Say “yes” to every moment of every day.  Search for opportunities to serve Him.  Talk to the stranger you encounter about Christ.  Serve and give freely of your time and talents.  Seek and ye shall find.

Should’ve, could’ve and would’ve moments in your walk with Christ have eternal consequences.  Today is the day to seize the moment.  Today is the day to walk blindly in faith.  Today is the day to say “I am all yours God.”  Don’t miss the opportunities in Christ, you can never get these moments back.

Romans 12:11 – Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

John12:26 – Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The Rule of 7’s

One day, a friend gave me some of the best advice I’ve received and, quite possibly, the best advice I’ve ever passed along to others.  Life is messy.  It’s chaotic, it’s frustrating and sometimes infuriating.  People act senselessly and recklessly creating ripple effects that tear through hearts and lives.  Some days there seems to be no end to the nightmare.  That’s when the rule of 7’s comes into play.  How will this moment look and feel in 7 days, 7 months and 7 years from now.

Wow.  Talk about perspective changer and attitude changer.  I found that my daughter’s meltdowns while frustrating in the moment, won’t be our reality in 7 years.  The frustrating situations at work won’t even be memories in 7 months.  And the battle over healthy food vs. peanut butter and jelly (or even just jelly straight up) won’t be an issue in 7 days.  The messiness of today won’t matter in the future.  Will it shape it, sure.  Will it define it, not unless you let it.

Today you can choose how you will respond.  Do you continue the messy, ugly ripple effects created by other people’s poor choices, or do you stop and consciously choose to not let this small moment define your future reality?  I choose love for others, grace for others, mercy for others and joy, joy for myself.

God is ever constant.  Never changing.  Always good, even in what feels bad and messy.  The one and only choice you will ever make that will absolutely make a difference in 7 days, 7 months and 7 years, is the decision for salvation.  If you are tired of riding the emotional roller coaster of inconsistency then choose Christ today.  He is right there with you, just waiting for you to take his hand.  Expect joy today.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!

Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

1 Peter 1:8-9 – Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

2 Corinthians 12:10 – That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Copying Is The Greatest Form Of Flattery

Copying can be the greatest form of flattery, but not when your 5-year-old is doing it to your 9-year-old who is in tears screaming at her sister to stop copying her!  The tears and boo-hooing embolden Livi to do it more, much to Addy’s dissatisfaction.  I try to calm Addy down by saying Livi is just trying to play or is just wanting to be like her which is a compliment.  She never buys my words.

I can relate.  There was a situation while I was pregnant with Livi.  Another woman was pregnant the same time and we were about a month a part.  Every time something happened in my pregnancy it all of a sudden happened in hers within a couple of days.  The first couple of times it happened it was “wow, what a coincidence.”  After that it became apparent it was not a coincidence.  I felt really frustrated and irritated, and not to mention hormonal, too.  I did my best to distance myself from the person and the situation but that proved difficult.  I quit using social media because she would see what I was doing and then post online copying it.  I arrived at the hospital to deliver Olivia and Reed took a picture of our check-in wrist bands.  He excitedly put them on Facebook.  I knew this person would see it and instantly have to come deliver her baby too.  And she did.  Even though she wasn’t due for several more weeks.

When people copy your life, what life do they see?  Are they copying frustration and anger, or are they copying selfless love and grace?  When you get copied do you show that person Jesus’ grace, mercy, love and joy, or do you show them anger, hurt, jealousy and strife?  Be the person, that if someone were to copy you, you’d be proud of what came out from them.  Live your life on display so that the love of Christ can be seen shining for millions of people and openly invite each and everyone of them to copy your life and your love of Christ.

Copying is the greatest form of flattery, but make sure the original is worth copying.

Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 22:37 – And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your mind.”

Galatians 1:10 – For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

James 1:2-4 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Mark 16:15 – And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

Photo by Andre Mouton from Pexels