Instant replays have become old hat. Whether it's an impressive backhand or a slam dunk or a touchdown pass, we never have to worry about missing it the first time around. It'll be back again and again, and probably again. In slow motion at least once. Every coordinated movement, every graceful or powerful motion returns to be analyzed by fan and announcer alike.
It occurred to me recently that I'd enjoy (for lack of a better title) delayed replays of some of the more significant times in my life. I'm fantasizing the possibility of having a chance to relive a particular experience that could have been handled differently. More wisely. With greater tact. In better taste. You know, all those "If I had that to do over again" thoughts. Wouldn't that be neat?
Just think of all the things you'd refrain from saying that you blurted out the first time around. It would be a whole other story the second time around, wouldn't it?
Even everybody's friend, Erma Bombeck—the gal you'd think never regretted a moment—agreed. However, she admitted:
If I had my life to live over again, I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadows over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.... I would have cried and laughed less while watching television...and more while watching life.... There would have been more I love yous...more I'm sorrys...more I'm listening...but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it...and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Unfortunately, life doesn't offer "delayed replays." Second times around don't happen.
"You mean God won't forgive?" You know better than that. "And people can't overlook my failures?" Come on, now. That's not the issue at all. Most people I know are amazingly understanding. Our biggest task is forgiving ourselves.
The main message is clear: Think before you speak. Pause before you act. Make every minute count.
Another chance? No chance. Today is memory in the making, a deposit in the bank of time. Let's make it a good one!
Today is tomorrow's yesterday. How do you want to remember it?
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.