We didn’t know it was going to be our family’s last dinner together when we celebrated my sister’s birthday on this date 22 years ago. We had no idea she was going to die of a heart attack three days later.
Like your family, our family wasn’t perfect and not every family dinner we had was peaceful. But the last one was. I remember being thankful that evening for the pleasant time we had. My thankfulness increased after my sister’s death. I’m so grateful the last memories are good ones.
I was leading a Bible study at church after dinner that evening. There were other times when I thought I needed to do more work and more preparation and I didn’t think I had time for dinner with the family. I’m thankful that night I didn’t put work above relationships. I’ve certainly been guilty of doing that plenty of other times. It would have been a shame to have missed out on that dinner because I thought I needed to work a little more.
None of us knows if it will be the last dinner. We assume we will have many more opportunities to mend broken relationships, to share an encouraging word with a hurting friend, to create a pleasant memory, to let a friend know how much they mean to us. The Bible says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
God gives great opportunities today to live and love and serve. None of us knows what opportunities there will be tomorrow. Since we are not sure about tomorrow, have that dinner with a friend or relative today and put work on hold for awhile. Play with those kids and grandkids when you have the chance. Call that friend when the opportunity arises. God graciously gives us this special gift of today, and He is willing to help us use and enjoy the gift to the fullest.