‘I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.’ – Stephen Grellet.
The quote above is one of about three quotes that I can conveniently recite off hand. Its one of the quotes I have written down in my journal. My journal is different from my diary and so I only write exceptional things there. The quote is quite exceptional to me as it reminds me of a fundamental truth about life – You Only Live Once!
We all know that no one knows tomorrow, yet we act in ways that contradict that knowledge we have. We make a whole lot of assumptions that seem to suggest we are sure we will still be around for a while. James 4:13-15 enjoins us not to speak of tomorrow with arrogant certainty, we are always at the mercies of God.
Take this example that occurs in our every day life, we assume that we will see our co-workers every weekday and if one of them does something we notice as bad, we are quick to say to ourselves – I will speak to him/her tomorrow. Why tomorrow? Why not today? I’m guilty of this as well, mind you. We leave several things to chance when we push them to the future, especially if they can be done today. This is not about being negative, it is about living one day at a time – not leaving what can be done today till tomorrow. Sometimes, those tomorrows just never come.
Just recently, something happened to me. Someone I see on regular intervals walked up to me and asked for a favour. It was a help I could render but I was thinking of not helping as much as I could afford to. I reasoned that the need would re-occur again and I would need to help again. However, I questioned my assumption. What if the need never arises again? What if this is the last time we would see each other? I have not gotten to where I’m going in life, so its common to hear that tone of uncertainty in my language. And its because I’m highly optimistic and positive and not the other way round. And because of those thoughts I went the whole length and rendered the assistance.
And I was reminded of what the Holy Book says in Proverbs 3:27-28,
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.
Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”
Back to my story, I helped the person in the best way I could and removed tomorrow out of the equation. As this was not a movie, I saw the person the next time and next. And then one day, I stopped seeing the person and I’m not sure we will see again. Immediately, I thought what I did for that person might be the last impression he would have of me. You know what they say of first impression, that you don’t have a second shot at it. For last impression, you don’t know when the opportunity will show up. So why not make every opportunity you have with people a golden one, it might just be the very last.
Do all the good you can do today, do it now for you don’t know tomorrow. Bask in the euphoria of today.
I am @seunalade