don’t wait

Posted: January 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

My pastor admonished us recently to celebrate the little things more often.  “Don’t wait to celebrate,” he said, noting that too often we bypass the opportunity because we are too busy, too tired, too blue, or just generally not in the mood…and noting that when we push through and celebrate anyway, we never say later, “Aw darn…I wish I hadn’t celebrated!”

I love his point.  Seems on-target to me, as long as we remove “getting wasted” from the definition of the word “celebration.” 

His point got me to thinking.  What other things should we “not wait” to do?  I propose a few:

Don’t wait to say “thank you.”  It is never too soon to do so.  You can never say it too often, either, BTW.

Don’t wait to give grace to the person who fails to say “thank you” – grace is always in style, and if you’re only doing something to get a “thank you,” you might need to rethink that.

Don’t wait to pay a sincere compliment.  Many people – most? – are carrying around the memory of unkind things said to us, and measuring ourselves as falling short.  Feed some GOOD truth to someone about who they are.  Maybe it’ll grow and choke out some of the bad stuff.

Don’t wait to encourage someone.  I have a sign in my office that says, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”  Encourage someone – perhaps you’ll push them beyond the doubt zone.

Don’t wait to praise someone…to someone else…in front of them.  Have you ever had someone “tell on you” this way within your earshot?  It’s a rush…and an easy gift to give.

Don’t wait to intervene on behalf of someone who is being bullied.  Both the bully and the victim need the break from the cycle.  Bonus points:  remember, when you’re praying for that victim, to pray for the bully, too.  After all, something is broken there, to bring out that behavior…and God is big enough to do something about it. 

Don’t wait to perform a random act of kindness.  Bonus points if you do it anonymously.  You never know how it might give someone the courage to hope anew.

Don’t wait to apologize.  This one comes with a caveat – there are times when apologizing might do more harm than good (example:  if you slept with someone else’s spouse, and they don’t know it, your apology will break news that may end a marriage – get counsel and spend serious time in prayer before anything like that!)  But in general, if both you and the other party know you created an offense, don’t wait for “the right time.”  You’re not going to feel braver or more ready later.  Do it.  Now.  Make it a REAL apology, not conditional on the other person “owning their part.” 

Don’t wait to wish someone a nice day.  It means more to some passing strangers than you might guess.  And you might find you mean it more, the hundredth time you do it, than you did the first time.

Don’t wait to smile at a stranger along the way.  Not “leer at.”  Smile.  If it’s genuine, it may spread more warmth than you ever know.

Don’t wait to learn something new.  You need it, steadily, if you don’t want to stagnate and get small, uninteresting, and probably bitter.  You won’t age so quickly or so hard if you keep learning.  You’ll have more to share.  Just do it.

Don’t wait to exercise *real* listening to someone/something with which you disagree – the kind where you are only seeking to hear and understand.  Practice this while refusing to form a rebuttal, even inside your head.  Just listen to listen, and then walk away in peace.  You might be surprised at things you learn and ways you grow.  You might gain unexpected friends along the way, too.

Don’t wait to do something kind for someone who absolutely has no means to repay the kindness.  The growth you will experience will most likely outstrip even the benefit to the recipient.

Don’t wait to admit you were wrong.  It’s not going to get easier to admit it later.  You don’t need a cover story.  For bonus points, refuse to make excuse at all.

Don’t wait to let the other person talk freely, as you refuse to see their stories as a challenge for one-upsmanship.  Try letting their story stand on its own.  Let them be the one with the biggest, the most, the least, the worst,or whatever other superlative applies as they are sharing their extreme story…even and especially if yours seems to you to be “more” than theirs.  Practice this regularly, and after awhile the world starts to look different (better). 

I’m sure there are endless other “don’t waits” that are fairly universal.  What can YOU add to this list?






  1. Pam Spangler says:

    Thanks for an eye opener Karen. Another one for me is: don’t wait to ask for forgiveness from others!

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