Imagine you are living in the 1960s. It’s August 1966, and a friend invites you to hear The Beatles – the world’s greatest band at the time – in concert live. You respond, “I can’t make it this year. I’ll go to their next concert.” Only The Beatles never play live again during the 1960s. But you couldn’t possibly know that when you declined the opportunity to hear them live.
It’s July 1980, and your favorite band, Led Zeppelin, is playing a few hours from where you live. You have a scheduling conflict that you can resolve, but you say to yourself, “I’ll just hear them another time.” September comes and Zep’s drummer dies. It then hits you – you said “no” to the last opportunity any mortal would ever have to see the original Zeppelin live.
It’s March 1994, and you’re a Nirvana fan. You’re invited to see them in concert. You respond, “I don’t have enough money for the ticket” (which really means, “I’d rather spend my money on something else right now.”). You shrug it off thinking, “I’ll just hear them live next time they play.” Well, there is no next time. A month later their lead man is gone.
It’s November 2008, and you are able to purchase discounted tickets to hear R.E.M. play live. You decline. Later you learn that the band will never play again. They officially split in 2011.
Do you see my point? It’s certainly not that you need to attend the next rock concert! The point: Don’t put off golden opportunities. Opportunities like events that will help you go deeper in the Lord and make connections with others who are on the same journey, saying to yourself, “I’ll just attend next time.”
Because “next time” may not be available to you.
P.S. A NOTE TO THE LEGALISTS AND THE PEEVISH – As I’ve argued elsewhere repeatedly, one of the nasty sides of legalism is the pushing of one’s personal, subjective standards on everyone else. This article is making a clear point that is made plain at the end. The examples I gave are simply metaphors. They aren’t the point.