Should have started a year ago

By Mac McPhail - Contributing columnist
Mac McPhail -

Recently, I was at the gym working out. Music was playing over the gym’s sound system. I enjoy the beat of the music, but honestly, I hardly understood a word of the songs being sung. I don’t know if it is today’s popular music, or my old age hearing loss. It’s probably both.

In between the music there were some advertisements and motivational plugs. One of the motivational segments caught my ear. The spokesman said, “In a year from now, what will you wish you had started today?” Of course, being in a gym, the inference is to a healthy lifestyle with exercise, healthy eating, etc. But it can also relate to other areas.

There is something I wish I had started a year (or two) ago. And I said I was going to do it. But I didn’t. And a few Sundays ago, I wish I had. It’s learning how to use the Power Point program on the computer.

Alfredo DiPinto is the regular Sunday School teacher in our class at church. He is a knowledgeable teacher, and is very effective in communicating the scriptures. He uses his computer and Power Point to show the Bible verses and lesson points on the TV’s in the classroom.

Alfredo was out of town that Sunday, so I was asked to teach the class. I do it occasionally, but not that often. As I was preparing for the class, I thought, “Boy, I wish I had learned Power Point, this would be much easier to present. (By the way, I think I said the same thing the last time I was preparing to teach the class a few months ago.) So I ended up reading the scriptures and writing the points of the lesson on the board.

Now the Power Point computer program isn’t that difficult to learn. It would be helpful at Sunday School and at other times. I just haven’t taken the time and effort to do it. I suppose it always comes back to time and effort. Do we want to take the time? Do we want to make the effort?

I would have been glad Sunday morning, if a year ago, I had started to learn the Power Point program. How about you? Is there something today you wish you had started a year ago? On the other hand, is there something today you are glad you started a year ago?

For me, it was a simple action that I started a couple of years ago. I would hear a good quote, read an excellent comment, or be inspired by a scripture, and would be sure I wouldn’t forget it. Of course, I would soon forget it. (I’m sure none of you can relate to this.) One Sunday, Alfredo stated during a lesson, “A short pencil is better than a long memory.” I knew he was right.

Soon after, I started writing notes to myself on a yellow legal pad at my desk. It may be a sentence or a short paragraph. It may come from a TV or radio program, a devotion, or from a conversation with a friend. It may end up in a column, or it may just be something I personally want to remember. (The quote that inspired this column was written down on a legal pad when I came home from the gym around a month ago.) Those, now four, yellow legal pads filled with notes are now some of my most important possessions.

Instead of regretting what you didn’t do, let’s be positive about what you are going to do. What are you going to be glad about a year from now that you started today? That you made the decision to do something about your health – start eating healthier and getting more exercise. That you are going to get real about getting out of debt, and paying off that credit card. Or that you began to mend some broken relationships and get serious about your spiritual life. Start today and a year from now, you’ll look back and be glad you did. And if you start getting serious about your spiritual life, you will be glad you did a year from now. A year from now, but also for eternity.

Mac McPhail McPhail

By Mac McPhail

Contributing columnist

Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at [email protected]

Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at [email protected]