Lost Opportunities

the spiceBox

by Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel –

I just passed my 70th birthday last month and the senior moments are coming fast and furious. Can’t believe it! I can remember when seventy was OLD! What happened? These days all those “I realized I was old when …” jokes (like, “I realized I was old when I bent over to pick up a scrap from the floor and then looked around to see if there was anything else I could do while I was down there”) are no longer a joke.

One of the things I find myself thinking about more often is the total lostness of a lost opportunity. And particularly of lost opportunities to find forgiveness in Christ!

Good Friday and Easter have come and gone (though, thank God, their impact will last forever!) I have been thinking about the dying thief on the cross—the other one, the one who taunted Jesus—and died in his sins. How tragic an episode—not that he committed the offense against the Lord, we have all done that—but that, even after hearing Christ’s loving, forgiving words to the repentant thief, he still refused to seek Christ’s forgiveness and mercy. He knew what was happening. He heard the words of the man, and those of Jesus. What possessed him that he refused to follow the example of his fellow and be saved? The man had nothing to look forward to but pain and death. What had he to lose? His pride? His insistence on being “the captain of his own fate?” Did he fear that having once rejected Christ, there was no way God would forgive him, that his case was hopeless? An opportunity lost, forever.

And then, consider the situation of the man who conspired to betray his Lord and Master, the man whose shameful deal was sealed with a kiss of friendship and obeisance. Had not Judas known Jesus for years, walked with him and participated in intimate conversations with him on the deep matters of the spirit? Did he not realize how much Jesus loved him? Would not Jesus have forgiven him, saved him, even after the terrible deed was done? Judas was driven by the knowledge of his own sin to commit suicide. What a wonder it would have been, what a triumph of grace, had Judas’ conscience driven him to his knees instead of to a rope. An opportunity lost, forever.

A young man who turned back from following Jesus because he could not bear to abandon his worldly comforts; the Roman soldiers who declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God; a king who said to Paul, “Do you think…you can persuade me to be a Christian?” So many opportunities lost—
forever!

And then there are the persons who may read this column, and say, for whatever reason, “It’s not for me.” Or, “Maybe, someday, but not now,” or those who, like Judas, feel they have lost contact with God, or have betrayed him, and cry, “If only—but no, it is too late!” And are lost, forever.

Jesus wept.I just passed my 70th birthday last month and the senior moments are coming fast and furious. Can’t believe it! I can remember when seventy was OLD! What happened? These days all those “I realized I was old when …” jokes (like, “I realized I was old when I bent over to pick up a scrap from the floor and then looked around to see if there was anything else I could do while I was down there”) are no longer a joke.

One of the things I find myself thinking about more often is the total lostness of a lost opportunity. And particularly of lost opportunities to find forgiveness in Christ!

Good Friday and Easter have come and gone (though, thank God, their impact will last forever!) I have been thinking about the dying thief on the cross—the other one, the one who taunted Jesus—and died in his sins. How tragic an episode—not that he committed the offense against the Lord, we have all done that—but that, even after hearing Christ’s loving, forgiving words to the repentant thief, he still refused to seek Christ’s forgiveness and mercy. He knew what was happening. He heard the words of the man, and those of Jesus. What possessed him that he refused to follow the example of his fellow and be saved? The man had nothing to look forward to but pain and death. What had he to lose? His pride? His insistence on being “the captain of his own fate?” Did he fear that having once rejected Christ, there was no way God would forgive him, that his case was hopeless? An opportunity lost, forever.

And then, consider the situation of the man who conspired to betray his Lord and Master, the man whose shameful deal was sealed with a kiss of friendship and obeisance. Had not Judas known Jesus for years, walked with him and participated in intimate conversations with him on the deep matters of the spirit? Did he not realize how much Jesus loved him? Would not Jesus have forgiven him, saved him, even after the terrible deed was done? Judas was driven by the knowledge of his own sin to commit suicide. What a wonder it would have been, what a triumph of grace, had Judas’ conscience driven him to his knees instead of to a rope. An opportunity lost, forever.

A young man who turned back from following Jesus because he could not bear to abandon his worldly comforts; the Roman soldiers who declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God; a king who said to Paul, “Do you think…you can persuade me to be a Christian?” So many opportunities lost—
forever!

And then there are the persons who may read this column, and say, for whatever reason, “It’s not for me.” Or, “Maybe, someday, but not now,” or those who, like Judas, feel they have lost contact with God, or have betrayed him, and cry, “If only—but no, it is too late!” And are lost, forever.

Jesus wept.


Prev
Choose spring!

Choose spring!

from theDesk of by Eda Hokom, Major – Spring is that amazing time of year

Next
On the Corner

On the Corner

Earth stewardship by Bob Docter – First this: God created the Heavens and

You May Also Like