The other day on my way home from work I noticed a bank of dark clouds rolling in from the west. I was thinking that I needed to hurry home to let the dog out before the storm. She is afraid of storms and at the first rumble of thunder she runs for cover under the bed. But as I turned the last corner toward home, I noticed how dramatically beautiful the clouds were. Still thinking about the dog I headed on up the street toward home. Suddenly I realized that I would never see that same cloud formation again. I needed to stop and snap that picture. I didn’t have my “real camera” with me, but I did have my phone and the 8 megapixel camera takes decent pictures. So I turned my car around and found the perfect place to take that picture. I’m glad I did because only seconds later, the hole where the sun was peeking through was gone. If I had not stopped, I would have missed it altogether.
I have had many opportunities over the course of time when I have said, I should stop and take a picture of “that” someday. One that stands out in my mind the most is an abandoned farm home on the edge of a town called Quimby in Iowa. Every time I passed that house, I would wonder whose hands built that house. I wondered who prepared meals for the farmhands in that kitchen. I wondered whose laughter could now only be imagined. I wondered whose tears last fell to the floor as they left this home. I wondered all these things every time I passed by but never stopped to snap that picture. One day while driving in the country with my camera in tow, I decided that I was going to go and finally take pictures of this homestead. As I rounded the edge of town, my heart sank and I felt a pit in my stomach. The house was gone. It had finally been torn down and with it the imaginings of a family, a wood-burning stove, the smell of homemade bread from the oven; the image of the American farm family was gone.
I don't want to wake up someday realizing all that I have missed out on because I didn't listen to the inner voice prompting me to seize opportunity. I want to live a life that chases after opportunity with a "go for it" mindset. When the biography of my life is written, I want the title to be, "Yes She Did!".
Yes she did...
try some things that weren't successful
Yes she did...
stop to photograph stormy skies
Yes she did...
take time to sing the songs in her heart
And yes, I have been given many opportunities in my life; taking advantage of some and ignoring others. The regrets are of opportunities not taken, because I can only wonder "what if".
So today as I think about the next opportunity that I've been given, I am wondering how and when, but I will not look back with regret wondering what could have been "if only".
I'm going to look at today as the day that I decided that every time I get the opportunity, I'm going to stop and snap that picture!