Don’t miss the opportunity

Published 6:52 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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By Nathan Rice

The confirmation page for my purchase sat on my computer screen while the webpage encouraged me to book now. I thought of all that I had to do over the next few months, and I wondered if I should postpone this vacation. I had so much to do, and I could always take this trip later.

Then my mind took me back several years. I was planning this trip then, but I became ill unexpectedly. I remember the doctor’s diagnosis and wondering if I would ever be able to take the vacation that I had planned. Several years later, with the Lord’s healing and doctors’ help, I felt better and excited to try this trip again. Then the world shut down, and no one went anywhere.

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I thought of both of those delays, and I hit the purchase button on the page. My flight was booked, and my vacation was scheduled. The opportunity for this vacation is now, and I know from previous years that no chance is guaranteed to last.

We are all guilty of thinking that the things that lie before us now will always be available. Other times, we delay things we want to do because life is too busy or work is too hectic. This thinking, however, has problems.

The first problem is that we do not know if what is available today will be available for us tomorrow. None of us know what the future holds. My two previous attempts at this vacation were foiled by things that I never saw coming – a personal illness and a worldwide pandemic.

The next problem is that life is always busy. There will always be projects at work and responsibilities at home. We will miss chances to live life fully if we wait for things to slow down because life doesn’t slow down often.

We should know that taking an adventure, completing a dream, or going on vacation isn’t a bad thing. I am not taking a “live for today at the expense of tomorrow” attitude. Taking opportunities to have an adventure or enjoy something special doesn’t mean that you have to do so recklessly.

My advice to take full advantage of opportunities and the encouragement to enjoy things while you have the ability isn’t a free pass to avoid responsibilities, hurt others, or damage your future.

I ensured that both of my employers knew about my vacation, prepared them for my absence, and completed what work I could do in advance. My responsibilities outside of work are resolved for my time away, and I saved my money and time off from work for this trip.

I’m not sure what vacation, dream event, or adventure you’ve put on the back burner because you think you can always do it later or because you think life will slow down in the future, but I encourage you to enjoy what you can enjoy today. We’re not promised tomorrow, and we’ve all learned that our world can change quickly. Be responsible, but don’t miss out on all the adventures around you.

Nathan Rice, a Hampton Roads resident since 1988, is a branch operations manager for a regional credit union in Virginia and North Carolina. He has volunteered with children and youth through various organizations for over 15 years. He is interim pastor at Portsmouth Nazarene Church. His email address is