Seize the day


Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’. The Latin term for that sentiment is Carpe Diem…  ‘Seize the day.’ Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Why does the writer use these lines? …Because we are food for the worms, lads. Because believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold, and die…

Now I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You have walked past them many times. I don’t think you’ve really looked at them. They’re not very different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable?

Because you see, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. Do you hear it? ‘Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys; make your lives extraordinary!’”

~ Robin Williams; Dead Poets Society

If you have all the time in the world – or, if you think you do – urgency becomes an irritation, without the power to create propulsion. The teenagers at Helton Academy – the fictional prep school in Dead Poet’s Society – thought they were immortal. Williams’ character – Mr. Keating – inspired them with the challenge to break from academic paralysis to strategic engagement. Carpe Diem…

Time is a dimension that sometimes makes partnership difficult. When the God of Eternity – who is, at any moment, in touch with distant yesterdays and extensive tomorrows – joins forces with his human creation, he steps into our atmosphere to relate to us within our limitations.

In the Bible, yesterday is mentioned 67 times. Today shows up 75 times. Tomorrow makes 67 appearances. When – exactly – does the Eternal God seek to engage us?

Not yesterday; not today; not tomorrow. Instead, his preferred timing is “now” – the word occurs 1355 times in Scripture (not all citations refer to timing, but those that do outnumber the days.)

My tenets from my life-or-death Year of Leukemia are my deep discoveries about my remaining life. Tenet #1: Pack your Bags. Tenet #2: Own the Mission. Tenet #3: Embrace the Risk. Tenet #4: Seize the Day. Dead Poets echoes the Living Author. Mr. Keating used the heroic athletes in Helton’s trophy hall to motivate his charges; Jehovah uses the heroic leaders in Hebrews 11 to motivate us. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable?

Carpe diem living life to the fullest. Every day offers abundant Kingdom opportunities. Seize those opportunities and change your life. Dismiss fear. Charge forward. Take the plunge. Nothing is ever achieved by holding back. If you want to carve your eternal destiny, you won’t find it looking back to yesterday, or waiting until tomorrow. When is God planning to use us? The alarm on our iWatch – if it’s tuned to Heaven’s chronograph – is sounding. Now is the time: Now I will arise,’ says the Lord, ‘Now I will be exalted, now I will be lifted up’” (Isaiah 33:10).

Last year, I was blessed with myriad encouraging messages from friends citing my positive impact on them, yesterday. I was frequently in conversation with family and friends who wanted to encourage me today. Some went way-out on the limb to declare that they were certain that “God was not finished with me yet,” and that I would have more to do tomorrow. Where should I put my focus?

Tomorrow is now today; I don’t know how many more tomorrows he has for me. My inescapable discovery: whatever I plan to do with the rest of my life, get on with it. Now is the time.

Carpe Diem is my new calendar app; what’s the timing on what you have left to do?

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5 thoughts on “Seize the day”

  1. Thanks again Bob for your “timely” point to ponder, proffer and practice. Thanks for being an instrument of the Lord to amplify and glorify our wonderful Lord and Master.
    Infinite Blessings,

  2. Thank you for your encouraging words this morning! It is with Gods words that we live to our fullest and you’re such a messenger of those words. I can’t wait for Monday mornings to be able to read your wonderful passage, they ae always so wonderfuly.

    God Bless you, Bob!

  3. Hey brother,

    Thank you for being who God created you to be for His mission. We shared meaningful time together. It enriched my life.
    Know that you are prayed for. My notes from TMP continually sharpen me. God’s dream for me blesses me.
    See you in heaven if I don’t see you before.

  4. Right on as always Bobby. NOW is the time. NOW has always been the time! You and have always lived in the moment of NOW! Its the only place to live. Its all we got. Love you more than a brother!

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