The list at this time of year is ever long.  Plus there are many different lists.  There’s a Christmas card list, shopping list, gifts list, decorating list, party list and each of you can fill in the blanks for the lists you have in your hands.  Baking is on my list as well.  The fruitcakes are done and rumming up so that only leaves the cookies to bake.  I am waiting to see if a little helper might be found around the 20th!

How many times have you gone over your list and said “I’ll leave that for later.”  When is later?  Does it ever come?  When does later become now?

It came to me this morning, on a cold snowy one, that later is hard to find.

“Mom can I talk to you?” “Later.”

“Dad can we play catch?” “Later.”

“Will you please call me”” “Later.”

“Can I get that recipe?” “Later.”

“Will you send me that_______?” “Later.”

“Can we play a game?” “Later.”

I think you get the picture.

We need to remove later from our vocabulary.  The word serves no purpose.  It takes no action.  It simply delays a response.  It puts off purpose.  I can clean that later.  I can vac later.  I can iron later.  I can give you a hug later.  I can call you later.  I can play later.  I can _________ later.  Later does not come.

When was the last time someone said it is later I am going to do my chores.  It is later and I am going to write that letter, send that email, make that call, give that forgiveness, send that loving note?  Later never arrives as when we are doing those things it is the now.  Why do we even have the word later?

The word later exists so that we can put off something we do not want to do right now.  We cast aside as we are too busy?   Too disinterested?  Too into our own activities?   I do not want to deal with you right now so I will tell you later.   I do not want you to interfere in my life so I will ask you to call or visit later.  Later can be too late if it does not become now.

Saving for a rainy day also enters into this concept of later.  I am the first to say that preparedness is very important.  We need to save.  We need to prepare.  The question of later in this instance is how many of us are saving for later and not living now?

Last night I heard a voice filled with tears sharing the news of the illness of a dear friend.  This sweet girl was told not to visit now and to wait till later.  My response to her was later may be too late and she needs to go now.  Last week several of my friends lost family members and had family who were ill.  I prayed for them all right then not later.  All of these of course were the inspiration to write today.

I wrote a few posts back about no man being an island.  Same concept only more personal.  Do not wait till later to do what you want to do.  Do not wait till later to share your life.  Do not put off that visit.  Do not put off that phone call.  Do not make a list and not work at it.  Do not live a life of good intentions without action.  Do not wait to forgive an injustice.  Do not wait to tell someone you love them.  Do not take time to play that game.  Do not wait till later.

Later never comes.  Now is ever present.


3 comments on “THE LISTS AND LATER

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