I had a conversation with my dad recently. And somewhere n the middle of the conversation, he told me of a former collegue of his who is now in his 60′s, and retired. He said he met the old man on his way to pick up his toddler kids from school. ”At a time when this old man should be resting”, said my old man, “he is punishing himself with school-runs”. My dad felt so sorry for the old man.
He told me how this man had chased away his wife of over 15 years and remarried a young woman. Of course you know most women are never secure in a marriage until they have a child for their husband. It’s usually a way to guarantee a portion of the man’s inheritance in his death. So the old man pleased his wife by agreeing to have kids from her in his old age. But that came with a huge price; working extra hard to pay fees, chasing little kids around, dropping them off at school- the whole works!
My dad concluded by saying, ” there is time for everything in this life o! There are some things that are meant to be done in your youth. Once that time passes, it becomes a huge struggle”.
I thought back on that statement and realized how true it was and suddenly I had a flashback to a scene in a supermarket years ago. LL Cool J was rapping on the radio,”it’s never too late to chase your dreams”. I said yeah , you’re right “LL”! The guy beside me said, “wrong my brother,It can be too late to chase your dream”. I said, how do you mean? He says,” if you have a dream to build masts, I’d like to see you climb one in your old age”. That’s true, I thought.That makes sense! There is really a limit to what we can do at a certain age.
Being a “talented” latecomer in everything, that really hit me hard. I realized I had missed out on a lot of stuff I should have done 5 to 10 years ago. I keep wondering what I had done with all those years. I still can’t account for them. It’s almost like I had been in a coma for that length of time. I now find I don’t have the energy that I used to have and I am probably not as daring as I used to be. Truly, there is a time and a season for everything.
Shakespeare says in Julius Caesar,
” there is a tide in the affairs of men.Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current when it serves,or lose our ventures.”
We must seize the moment and do what we ought to do at the right time so that life becomes less of a burden. We must never be like the man who begins to have children in his old age, or the man who starts to chase his dreams when he is too old, or the mature lady by the side of the road who tries to recapture her wasted youth by dressing up like a teenager with the hope of enticing a prospective husband. A season lost can never be regained.
A word is enough for the wise!