Could have, would have, should have… how much of our lives are tied up in these verbs? That we could have done something implies we had the power, the resources, the ability to have done it. And that we would have suggests we had the intention, the inclination, the desire to have done it. And to say that we should have done something indicates we had an obligation, an imperative, a mandate either from within or without that constrains us to do that something. As yet another calendar year ended yielding to a new one, we often look back and ponder the things we could have, would have, and should have done but did not do.
Such pondering can be like a cattle prod for the present. Why didn’t I reach out to an old friend last year? What kept me from volunteering for the good of the community? How can I jumpstart my compassionate action when it fizzled into apathy in 2019? There’s no time like the present we say… but do we really “seize the day” and make the most of every minute? Got the flu? You can still pray, send an email, write a letter! Discouraged by the news? Choose just one, maybe two issues to respond to at a time: support the Australian Salvation Army in the wake of the devastation and loss of life wrought by the fires [https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/07/australia-fires-how-to-help-donate-victims-animals/2832145001/]. Wonder how to be involved in alleviating suffering in our community? Check with area agencies or take a county commissioner to lunch and ask.
There are always ways we could be involved if only we would. But should we? Do you feel a prodding? It must be your compassion stirring! Discerning what is yours to do will lead you into action. Pray and then jump in and discover what it is like to make the most of every minute! Here’s some good advice to go by: “How can I see your faith apart from your actions? I’ll show you my faith by putting it into practice in faithful action.” -James 2:18