Many of you will remember the name Erma Bombeck. We all laughed and cried with her humorous newspaper columns that she wrote about life as a suburban housewife. Shortly after finding out she had cancer years ago, she wrote the following column which I kept and ran across the other day. Erma Bombeck died in 1996; her column is entitled "If I Had My Life to Live Over":
If I had my life to live over, I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day. I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television -- and more while watching life.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's." But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, live it, and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
Let's think about what God has blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Life is too short to let it pass you by. We only have one shot at this and then it's gone. I hope you all have a blessed day.
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas