I said goodbye to a sweet friend yesterday, with very mixed feelings. On one hand, I was happy for her that she is now with her Jesus and that, according to our pastor, she was ready. I knew from a recent conversation that she didn’t want to leave her family and she was eagerly anticipating being with her Lord. It’s that feeling of being torn that many Christians share. I could just see her sweet face being at peace in the end. On the other hand, I’m sad. On my last visit with her I told her I would be back and we even planned to get together with our husbands one weekend. Those things never happened.
I met Karen five or six years ago when we were in a small group at church together. We hit it off right away and found that we had some shared experiences. In fact, she encouraged me greatly in a situation I was experiencing at that time. We talked occasionally, mostly at small group or church. I would send her a card now and then just to let her know I was thinking of her, but it wasn’t until recently that I really got to know more about her. It was amazing to me how much we had in common; a musical background, history with and a love of horses just to name a couple things. I also found out that she was the same age my mother would be if she were still alive.
I found out too late, what a treasure I had right under my nose. I could have had several years of rich friendship with this wonderful woman instead of just a few weeks. I could have spent so much more time with her and therein lies my sadness and regret. How many people come into our lives without us taking the time to learn their stories; to bless them and be blessed by them? How much rich fellowship do we miss out on because we simply do not take the time? And why does it have to take losing them to open our eyes?
I have some family members that I dearly love, but only see at family funerals. At every funeral we declare that we won’t wait until the next funeral to get together and then I see them once or twice after that. As of this writing, I haven’t seen them in person in years. Sad humans, we are. Day-to-day life sweeps us up in its busyness and next thing we know, years have passed! It’s as though time is our master rather than the other way around.
Time management is such a big deal to us. We have calendars, day planners, reminders in our phones and watches. So, why do we not manage some time for each other? Not just our families, but our neighbors, coworkers, people we sit next to in church. Karen was a very sweet person. I know that she would not want me to feel regret, but to be thankful for the time we had together and maybe learn from the experience. I will endeavor to do just that. Like my sweet friend, there are so many wonderful people with fascinating stories – treasures – right under our noses if we would just take the time to discover them. Don’t miss out on the treasures in YOUR life.