Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Mistake of Waiting

Rose Tyler and her dad.

Last night (well, really, it’s tonight; I’m writing this at 10pm on the 11th of January), I watched a Doctor Who episode—called Father’s Day.

I won’t tell you what it’s about other than it’s about a father and his daughter. I will tell you, though, that by the end of the episode, I was out-and-out sobbing. Yes, I think the saddest episode I’ve ever seen of Doctor Who is, hands-down, The Angels Take Manhattan. And I cried pretty hard after that episode too.

But Father’s Day hit me hard, and made me sob; partly because it revolves around a topic close to my heart. Fathers and daughters. And also family.

Once I stopped crying, I lie there in the dark thinking for quite a while. Time-travel… families…


Peter Allen Tyler—Rose Tyler’s father—regretted not being there for her as she grew up. Granted, he couldn’t help it. But he regretted it nonetheless.

That set off a train of thoughts that eventually brought this blog article together.

See… Father’s Day reminded me that you have to spend as much time as possible with those you love. Be kind to them. Because someday, they won’t be here.

And we don’t have time travel to take us back and make things right, or fix them, or console ourselves by seeing our loved ones one last time.

Anyone who knows me well knows what my biggest fear and greatest phobia is. The people I love dying. I’ve spent many nights panicking and crying, because I thought too long about the days when various people I love won’t be here.

When someone I care about dies, what regrets am I going to have? That I didn’t spend enough time with them? That I was unkind to them, or hurt their feelings (whether on purpose or not)?

I have a friend; Marie (whose name has been changed for sake of privacy). She’s been my friend from about 2008, though we don’t talk often anymore. I never got along with her little brother, Jimmy (name also changed). We were just kids, me and her; I was ten when we first met, I believe.

Much as I hate to admit it, I wasn’t very kind to her brother. We teased him, played practical jokes. It never became bullying; but it wasn’t nice, regardless of that.

And you know what?

Jimmy has a brain tumour now. My mom says he probably won’t live for longer than a year or two.

I can’t begin to describe how awful I feel for how I treated him; how much I want to, yes, take a ride in the TARDIS and go back. Go back and be kinder to him. I so deeply regret teasing and pranking him the way I did.

And I can’t even go make amends now, because he and Marie and their family live much farther away. I don’t think we’ll take the trip to their house anytime soon.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

There is no TARDIS we can use to go back and change things. None of us have a DeLorean we can use to fly back in time.

All we have is now. This day, this hour, this moment.

I don’t spend as much time with my dad as I should; hardly any time, really. I don’t help my mom out very often. And let’s not even go into how I react to my brother’s antics 90% of the time (I can say this, I react in a very exasperated and temperamental way).

When… when they’re gone… how am I going to feel?

Will I regret all the times I shouted at my brother? Will I wish I had made more time to spend with Dad, or talk with Mom?

I can say now, I probably will.

And it’s not just family, as my story about Jimmy shows. It’s friends, and friends’ family members. It’s everyone you meet, on every day of your life.

You never know what might happen. You can say that there’s plenty of time… but to be honest… God doesn’t work around your time schedule. If it’s time for someone you know or meet to go Home… it’s time. He won’t wait for you to give Him consent.

When someone you know you won’t see for a long time, such as a friend visiting from afar or a family member moving away… when someone like that hugs you, hold on tight and don’t let them go. Not for a few good, long seconds. Because you never know if that’s the last hug you’ll ever give them here on this earth. Show them that you love them.

I’m pleading with you. The next time you’re about to lose your temper, snap at someone with some sort of insult, hide out in your bedroom, or spend that extra hour and a half playing a game or watching television…

Think twice. Forgive everyone as God forgave you. Be gentle. Show love and compassion. Shut the technology off and spend time with someone. Laugh with them, talk with them.

I’m not trying to order you around. I’m really not. I’m lying here in bed, crying, because how many people must regret all the time wasted and all the chances lost?

Don’t put yourself through that. Live life to the fullest—serving Christ and showing love to everyone you meet.

This is the moment. It’s now. You never know when someone might be called to go Home. So go that extra mile, give that extra hug, and spend that extra time. Create memories that will endure for decades, and leave glows of love and happiness inside of you whenever you find those memories again.

Don’t make the mistake of putting it off until everything is gone, and all you have left are empty wishes, vain hopes, cold regrets, and bitter ‘if-only-I-had’s.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my...hit home for sure. Thank you for sharing this, Teddy.