Beware of Letting the Opportunities of Life Escape

Last weekend I received a text from a friend that shocked me. It indicated my friend had been involved in an accident and had completely severed his spinal cord. The doctors told my friend that he was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Photo Credit: Myriams-Fotos via pixabay

What shocking news! Devastating is another word that crossed my mind. I became friends with this young man on the basketball court. I never dreamed that the last time I played basketball with my friend a few days earlier would be the last time he may ever play basketball IN HIS LIFE. Unfortunately, everyday living has a way of lulling me into a false sense that everything will always be the same as it is right now.

This situation has precipitated a new appreciation for each and every time I step onto the basketball court. I will never know with certainty whether or not it is the last time I get to do it. I need to appreciate the blessing that it is to have the opportunity to play.

The traumatic event my friend suffered is a stark reminder that life can change in an instant. Moments such as these can take away abilities and opportunities and alter lives forever. Challenging questions come to mind:

  1. Am I waiting for the “perfect” time to start? That time may never come. No moment will ever be “perfect”. Any excuse will do when one is needed. For me, this is part of why I started this blog. Over and over again I thought about starting. Eventually, I had to determine that if I did not start I never would.
  2. Am I taking action currently? Am I taking action on the right things? Many times action is motivating because the environment around me begins to get stirred up. But wait! Is the action I am taking productive or just activity? It is easy to be distracted by busy work masquerading as real activity. There is no substitute for the hard work it takes to produce significant accomplishment. In preparation for my professional exams, it is not difficult to find distractions. If I don’t put in concentrated, focused study time, my chances of passing will diminish.
  3. Where are the decisions that I am making leading me? I must carefully evaluate my decisions to make sure they are leading me where I want to go. The aggregate of my choices will ultimately determine the destiny or at least the trajectory of my life. Several years ago I struggled with growing dissatisfaction and the lack of career growth potential available to me. I recognized that without making different decisions I would be settling for the path that I was on. That was not what I wanted, so I began making choices that would lead me to where I am now.
  4. Is my life telling the story I am intending for it to tell? Whether I realize it or not, those around me are observing a message from my life. I desire it to be one of hope and encouragement. The way I respond to challenges or difficult circumstances will be a key factor in the message. I find it best to engage other men with whom I am in relationship to best evaluate this question. They often have insights that help me identify areas where I can adjust my life to tell a better story.

I don’t know what the future holds for my friend. I am praying that the initial doctor’s diagnosis is not correct. He communicated to me earlier this week that he is determined to walk again. I hope I get to see him fulfill that desire. Please let this story be an inspiration and reminder that life is fragile and your impact on others starts now – no need to wait!

Question: What are you waiting on? Are you moving in the direction you want to go? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Jim Moore

    Powerful reminder of why it is so important to LIVE. And to DO. And not WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW. Prayers from us for your friend.

    • Mark Maenche

      So true Jim…thanks for responding! Thank you for your prayers.