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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If not now, when?

We fill life with so many things. We fill every nook and cranny of our time with stuff. We are slaves to our schedules. In doing so, it's easy to push aside our dreams. 

A few years ago, I decided I was going to check off one item from my bucket list. As a lifelong baseball fan, one venue I've always wanted to visit is Wrigley Field in Chicago. The one time I've been to Chicago, I wasn't able to go there. I was, however, able to see Wrigley Field from the Sears Tower.

Yeah, not the same.

So to put action to my passion, I checked out the schedule of my San Francisco Giants to see when they would be in Chicago that season. I was thrilled to see they were going to be there on Labor Day weekend. Since this discovery occurred in April, I knew I had plenty of time to save money for a flight, hotel and rental car. I found a couple great tickets on eBay, and bought them. I then told my friend, with whom I share this bucket list item, and he excitedly jumped on board.

As the weeks and months moved on toward our date with destiny, my friend began to get cold feet. His kids, his wife, this obligation and that. All very legitimate. But it wasn't like we were taking off for months, backpacking across Europe or something. It could be as short as overnight. As it turned out, we didn't go.

This got me to thinking. If not now, when? Are we going through life denying ourselves of beautiful opportunities because we think our world will cave in if we take 24 hours, a weekend, or a week off? Even God took a day off after creating the world.

More importantly than that, what other decisions are we postponing? I know people who find every excuse in the book to put off going to church. I've heard it all when it comes to not giving up smoking, or drinking. I've heard a lot of nonsense when it comes to giving up personal habits which are destroying not only themselves, but the people who love them.

If not now, when?

Tomorrow is promised to no one. What are you waiting for? What are you postponing with a truckload of excuses? Do you need to get away and enjoy life a little? Do you need to commit to finally quitting a bad habit? Do you need to re-prioritize your schedule and obligations in order to fit in things which are essential to your personal and family development? Are you better at being busy than you are at being effective?

No matter what it is, it all starts at the same place. A decision. You have to choose. There is no other way. If you're a slave to your schedule, if you're a captive to the calendar, it's time to do some pruning. You're living life on a treadmill. If you have a list of excuses which are tethering you to a tree, you have to cut the rope! It's the only way you'll move forward! And when you do, you'll see that it takes less energy to move forward than it does to go through the motions and go nowhere. 

If not now, when?