Last week a dear friend died. I had planned to give her a call the following day to say I had been thinking about her and her husband, who had died a couple of years earlier. As I listened to the messenger who informed me of her death, I realized I would never have the opportunity to fulfill my good intentions.

I know better than to put off things I should do today, but I felt genuine remorse when I could not tell this friend that I cared. So I’m reminded that the time to do something is today. I remember reading a line that said, “Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.”

Here are my three words to share today: DO IT NOW!

I may not have the opportunity tomorrow, so my chance to fulfill my intentions is today! Regret is a terrible companion. It can haunt you and add guilt as you reflect on the past. Procrastination only adds to my list of things I wish I had done.

When I was in college, I remember hearing a poem about the man who intended to be everything he could be — tomorrow. He planned to write a letter to a friend — tomorrow. He intended to finish writing his will — tomorrow! But unfortunately, he never lived in tomorrow.

Someone has written that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Good intentions are certainly not wrong in themselves, but they make terrible paving materials! In our day of instant things — cell phones, emails and many forms of instant communication, we can be distracted by the tyranny of the urgent.

Let me suggest that each of us finds a way to prioritize each day to make room for the impulses that need to be answered during the moment. Warren Buffett, in planning for financial matters, outlines 25 goals and then narrows them to five priorities. It may be difficult to think of your day as your list of priorities — the five most important things you plan to do today — but I believe that can help to do the first things first and when something out of the ordinary arises, I may be able to focus on that. If I do, then I will have made room for the immediate — that’s one of the things I need to do now!

Approaching life as a pattern that God has given allows me to choose what is most important. Here are some considerations to guide your thoughts:

The Bible confirms, “Now are we the sons of God…” First, My priority is to honor the family to which I belong. That’s God’s family! As we discover good things God has planned for us, we can use our full energy to complete the directions he gives us.

Remember to tell your family that you love them — as often as you can. None of us can hear “I love you” too often!

Teach your children the value of time and the important things to share in family conversations. Parents who listen to their children are most often the ones to whom children listen!

When today comes, make sure you have a will. It leaves behind a description of your wishes and a final disposition of the things you desire to give to others. One of my friends begins each day writing a letter to a friend he hasn’t seen for a while. He says, “Just in case, I can’t tell him how much he’s meant to me, maybe he’ll read my letter.” He has a large collection to be read after his death. Not a bad idea!

Finally, time is a great gift. A person wiser than I said, “We can’t change the past. We can use the moments of today. It is our gift; that’s why it’s called the present!”

I plan to live forever — whether in this life or in the one to come, but time will only allow me to accomplish so much today! It’s good advice: DO IT NOW! Think about that!

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Dr. James E. Kilgore retired as President of the International Family Foundation and lives in Canton. His most recent book, “Living Without Limits,” was published in late 2019 and is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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