American poet John Greenleaf Whittier once wrote, “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’"
He wrote it, but I've sure been thinking about it a lot.
Perhaps it's a common characteristic of seniors, but I find myself looking back at all God has enabled me to achieve, and yet, there are wisps of disappointment at what still hasn't happened.
A short list includes completing my college degree, taking a trip to visit friends living thousands of kilometres from here, or becoming a writer with skills comparable to some of my writing heroes. It seems there are always things that stand in the way, or barriers that, to date, still seem insurmountable.
More elusive and even more disappointing are those opportunities we chose to ignore. Though they were well within our reach, we put off making them a priority until the opportunity was no longer available. I first heard John Whittier's famous words when I was a youngster, but age has polished them.
It was those ponderous thoughts, along with notice of a special seat sale from our regional airline, that helped me decide to make a long overdue visit to family members.
In our telephone and email discussions as to "what would you like to do while you're here?" I realized that I simply wanted to be in their presence. "I don't have to be entertained," I responded, "I just want to spend time with you."
Even more, Christ longs to spend time with us. He loves to demonstrate that "just being with Him," in prayer and his word, can transform our "it might have beens" into occasions of praise.
"Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11, King James Version