Carpe Diem is one of the few Latin phrases that I know (Esperance being the other). And I thought it was one of those things that everyone knew, at least, until I wore a T-shirt that had Carpe Diem across the front of it while counselling at the Beaver Cross Christian teen camp in Albany. During the day I was wearing it loads of the campers came up to me, asking what it meant, one even guessing it was something to do with floors (they linked carpe to carpet…). Maybe it was because they were American…
For those of you who don’t know, Carpe Diem means ‘Seize the Day’. And as we strive to live all4God that is exactly what we need to do – we need to be busy seizing the day for God. In Ephesians 5:15-16 Paul commands us “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” He has something similar to say in Colossians 4:5 “Live wisely among those who are not yet believers, and make the most of every opportunity.”
If we are to live flat out for God we need to stop wasting opportunities. We need to stop holding back out of fear of failure, and just starting acting out of love. It is said that you will regret much more the things you don’t do than the things you do, and while there are many bad choices we can make and regret, if we are living for Christ and striving to stay away from sinful mistakes, come the end of our life, when we are giving an account to God as to why we didn’t reach out to that friend, or help that homeless person, it will be the opportunities we have wasted that we regret the most.
Sure, sometimes when we take an opportunity and try something it doesn’t always work out. But it is much better to know that at least you tried than to always be wondering what could have been. Yes it sucks when you ask a girl to a formal and she says no, but not asking and always being left wondering what she would have said is worse. Because the great thing is if you try and fail, there will always be another opportunity just around the corner – as The Streets once sang “Plenty more fish in the sea”! So don’t be put off by the fear of failure – the next time an opportunity to show God’s love comes your way just go for it. Step out in faith to seize the day for Christ. And remember that with God, each new day is a fresh start. The missed opportunities and failures of yesterday are in the past; don’t let them hold you back today.
And as we strive to seize the day in the name of the Lord, we need to heed the advice Paul gives straight after he tells the Ephesians to make the most of every opportunity – “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:17). Seizing the day in a way that will make an impact on this generation for Christ requires that we first spend time working out what it is God wants us to do, then go out and take every opportunity we can to do it. So today take some time to think what it is He is calling you to do. Then pray for opportunities to do it. Then, when they come, seize them!
<>< Carpe diem in nomine Domini