Carpe Diem—Seize the Day
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow—perhaps they all will."1
Because Daily Encounter has subscribers from around the world, I receive all sorts of requests from people the world over. Every now and then someone wants me to help them come to America to get an education. The best help I can give them is to share how I did it.
In more youthful days—much more youthful—I had a very definite sense of God's call to Christian work. I also had a strong desire to come to America (the U.S.) to study and get prepared for whatever it was God was calling me to do. I was not smart enough to know that my family was poor, but I did know that there wasn't any way they could help me. I didn't have any money either. But I had a will to work. I didn't ask God to give me the money I needed to get started, but what I did ask God for was to give me the work so I could earn the funds I needed. Wow, the work poured in and I was able to earn enough to pay for my fares and for my first semester at college in the U.S.
In the summer when in Chicago, I drove a CTA city passenger bus in the morning and evening rush hour shifts, painted houses in between these shifts, and at night worked as a janitor in a very large church. I worked seven days a week. I did all sorts of other work (some very menial), too, during the school year. It was never easy and I often had to take any kind of work I could get. But God provided the way and I made it through college and grad school.
How true is the old saying, "Where there's a will there's a way."
Furthermore, it is my personal conviction that if anything is God's will, there's always a way to do it. And faith says, "with God's help I will 'Carpe Diem'—seize the day and find the way!"
Even today, many years later, I am working a second job part time in order to support myself and keep ACTS gospel ministry operating. But as the Apostle Paul said, "And so, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry [of telling his Good News to others], we never give up."2
Is there something you have wanted to do for a long time but have never gotten around to doing? Do you have a sense that God is calling or wanting you to do something but you feel it is impossible right now to do? The best thing to do is just begin ... no matter in how small a way. When I wanted to go to grad school for further training for my work, I went to the grad school administration office and told them that I was very interested in their course and wanted to take it, but it was impossible because I had a very sick wife, two young children, a full time ministry and was hopelessly busy, so I'd enroll anyhow. And I did—and completed the course over a five-year period—one day at a time.
Ivan Turgenev said, "If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin." Another has said, "Beginning is half done." And as God's Word says, "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow—perhaps they all will."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to discover Your plan and purpose for my life, and show me how I can be a part of what You are doing in the world today. No matter what it is, give me insight to know what it is and the courage to take the first step today towards fulfilling this purpose. And thank You for the wonderful privilege of being a part of Your plan. Thank You, too, for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB-NLT).
2. 2 Corinthians 4:1 (TLB-NLT).
3. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB-NLT).