Then and Now

I think of what was, I think of what is.

I think of dreams held, plans made but never fulfilled.

I think of love's calls, walks down country lanes, I think of talks lasting long past midnight.

I imagine hot rooms filled with fire air floating above beds. Hushed conversations, shouting voices, church suppers and splashing faces.

I picture these towns, full to brimming, meeting houses bursting. Parades and festivals, carnivals and rides.

I think of the should'ves, could'ves and would'ves.

And I wonder.

Did they ponder what those after them would remember? Did they plan their legacy? Live life to the fullest?

Did they hold on rather than let go, did they fail to try when they wanted it so bad?

I think of history's lessons of those big and small. The people who were just caught up and those that made a difference.

And I wonder.

Did they know? At those moments in time, that greatness held them? Did they feel the moment, the fear, the exhilaration?

For most of us, our lives will not be grand displays of heroism, blazing trails and flocking crowds. We may only influence a very few, we may only succeed with little dreams, we may not succeed at all.

I think of Esther. I think of a beautiful girl, a woman who loved her people and I think of Mordecai.

"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4: 14

For if you keep silent...

Silent words, silent actions, silent lives.

Many of us live them. We push our dreams away, we plan for another day. We put down our hopes. We don't get too close.

You and your father's house will perish...

We do not know how long we have. It may be years, it may be only today.

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this...

This day, this time, this hour. We don't know what our future is.

So, I want to say to myself, LIVE. Live today well. Give what I can, share laughter with those around me. Build memories.

Help someone, help myself.

Stop worrying about what tomorrow, next month or next year will bring. Live present.

I wonder how many times those in the past held back and didn't go, do, be. What have we missed out on? What could have been made better, more just, stronger?

The child who needed a meal, the worker who needed a job, the young mother all alone who just needed a hand.

It all starts with one step.

One step. One step into a king's court. One step that could have sentenced her to death. But she did it. She did it for love. She chose to take that step.

God's will is powerful. It will not be made void. If you don't do it, He will find someone else.

relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place...

He doesn't force our hand. He doesn't manipulate or keep tallies. He wants to use me/you. He created you/me for more. To be heard, to be felt, to shake it up.

Maybe your circle will be ten people wide, maybe a thousand, maybe ten thousand.

But it all starts with one decision. The one that says, no matter what, I am going to do this today. TODAY.

So, my prayer is that we all take those chances.

Let’s not miss out on what could have been. Let’s not miss out on what would have been.

Let’s not miss out on what should have been and don't believe that you aren't here at this time in history for a reason. This is your time.

Live the life you were meant to. Be bold, be strong, be courageous.

Think of then, those who have gone before. The voices you can still hear ringing, bouncing off the walls.

Think of now, those around you, those who will catch you if you fall and just do.

Leave the legacy of strength in and around adversity. Leave a legacy of hope. Buildings fail, towns close down, but the choices you make today will last forever. Your children and your children's children will reap the rewards.

Live well. Live full. Just start.