I love a bargain. Better still, I love finding something fun or useful free. In many cases, I have stocked up on clearance non-perishables at my local dollar or grocery stores. I have even brought home items free from other people’s discard piles.
When I lived in Germany, I often came home from a walk with items that left my husband scratching his head. I still have those sleds, baskets, dishes and other things used for decorating or repurposed in my yard. I knew that many German flea markets were stocked with these spermuhl items. If I got them before a dealer did, it was free. Even in America, if you see something put out for bulky item collection day, it is yours if you grab it before the truck shows up.
Although I am pretty good at bagging bargains or free items, I have kicked myself for the ones that got away. In every case, I missed getting something because I waited too long. I sometimes take one sale item home just to test it to make sure it is something I will use. If I wait too long to test it or go back to the store, I find that they were snatched up by someone else.
The same thing happens with free items. When I noticed that a neighbor had put a very unusual chair out for collection, I waited until after dinner to go out to get it. It was gone. On a walk, I saw a great headboard and footboard – all solid wood with a Texas star in the middle of the headboard – in front of a house ready to be picked up. As I thought about it, I did some research and decided it would make a great bench. When I went back to get it, it was no longer there.
Those were missed opportunities to get some “thing” at little or no cost. They may make life a little more pleasant, but none of these things are important.
We can, however, experience important missed opportunities in our spiritual lives. God has often arranged circumstances for me to be able to share my faith. Some opportunities I took advantage of. Some I didn’t. I waited too long. A better time never presented itself. I had to apologize to God for not doing what I clearly knew He was asking me to do. I remember well every missed opportunity.
Jesus told many stories related to this, among them the parable of the rich man who had so much that he decided to pull down his barns and build bigger ones in order to store all his stuff – ignoring the source of every blessing. God said to him, “Fool, This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21).
None of us knows when our last breath will be. Salvation is too important to put off, thinking that there will be another chance tomorrow or the next day. That can result in missing out on the most important free gift ever offered.
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life…For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…Now is the day of salvation (Romans 5:18, Ephesians 2:8, 2 Corinthians 6:2b).