Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because they days are evil.
In an offbeat random sort of way I was thinking about the summer today. I wondered almost aloud if I would be trying to make this summer count if I were still a student. I remember the summers of my high school days--they were filled with work and dates. I would spend my working hours at a poor wage rate making money to go out and spend it on things and people that are not a part of my life any more. The cycle would repeat itself ad nauseum and it's a miracle I had anything to show for it when school started in the fall.
I wondered if I would have gone on a Youth Group trip if the opportunity presented itself. Our youth group didn't really do much in the summer and I generally took spiritual nosedives. The current irony is that I spend my days trying to plan summer experiences for students and then convince them they would benefit from going.
I think that if my high school group had gone places I would have stayed home and worked for two reasons. Firstly, I thought I needed the money, which is quite funny really. Yes, I thought all those movies and dinners and clothes were needs. Secondly (and most significantly), I did not have the perspective I have now. I would have failed to see a very important truth about life that is all too real for me now. Life is a series of open windows of opportunity. We fool ourselves into thinking they'll never shut, but oh how quickly and suddenly this can happen!
I think people don't really think about this seriously until their first really difficult window closes. When I say difficult I mean those windows we didn't want to let close, but they closed anyway. When a child gives up his tricycle for a bicycle a window has closed, but there was no great desire to stay in the tricycle stage anyway so there is no felt loss. The same is not true of a man who picks up a scrapbook of his son and realizes his wife took all the pictures at baseball games because he wasn't there. Or, what about the student who wakes up the morning after her graduation and realizes that she never did try out for the softball team? Slam goes the window.
Maybe you are in high school still, or maybe those days are a distant memory. Either way, we all have windows of opportunity. What are you doing with yours? Are you passing up opportunities thinking they will be there forever? Let us wake up from any silly illusions of permanent openings and seize the adventures we still have the ability to choose!