I had a dialogue with a new friend recently who said he felt since he came to Christ later in life he had “wasted” many years that could have been lived for the Lord. He stated that he wanted to do whatever he could to make the most of whatever time he had left for the glory of God.
I commend my friend first for coming to that realization, and second… doing something about it. Both took a tremendous amount of courage that not many people have.
Then I got to thinking about how many others there are out there that feel like it’s too late for them to do something great for God. They are in their 30s, 50s, or 70s and don’t feel like they have “enough” time left to serve or honor God. To go to seminary or the mission field or begin serving in vocational ministry.
There is one thing I don’t want to have at the end of my life if God will so allow it… REGRETS. I don’t want to get to the end of my life when all my strength and most of my mind is gone and wonder… “What if?”
Several years ago my uncle was diagnosed with cancer. The physicians gave him six months to live, but God granted him six years. When he was close to dying I asked him how he was doing in his heart. He hung his head and said… “I’ve wasted it.” Confused, I asked him to explain. He said, “God gave me six years to live instead of six months… and I wasted the time He gave me. I could have counseled other cancer patients… but didn’t. I could have been a part of studies about cancer to help others… but I wouldn’t. I could have taken mother to church when she wanted to go… and I stayed home. Now my life is about to end and I’ve wasted the time God gave me…” The final weeks of my uncle’s life were spent in regret… regrets that may have followed him into eternity.
Think about the thief on the cross. He hung there dying next to Jesus. He had wasted his life through criminal activities. He could have turned away from Christ thinking it was too late, that his life was over. Instead he made the most of the time he had left (Just a few hours) and said to Jesus, “Remember me when you enter your Kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” And 2,000 years later we are still talking about him and making the point… It is never too late!
Think about Caleb who was 85 years old and his request to Moses… (Click here). Caleb was old in terms of years, but he was strong both in spirit and body. His one desire was… even at his advanced age… to do something for God’s glory. Caleb could have stayed quiet, done nothing and used rationalizations and justifications for his inactivity. But he didn’t. He acted. For Caleb’s it wasn’t too late.
Everyone does what they want to do then they find a reason or excuse for doing it! That describes you… it describes me… it describes all of us. The question really boils down to what do we want to do with the rest of our life?
Every one of us will either be like my uncle, or Caleb and the thief on the cross. One thing is beginning to drive me more and more… a pathological aversion to regret! The only way we can come to the end of our days on earth… and then stand before God… without regrets… is to believe it is NEVER too late to submit our life to God and be used for His glory. And act on our belief!
The only people for whom it is “too late,” are those who have drawn their last breath on earth.