Don’t save the best for last

By Melinda Penry
Posted 9/19/19

After a lifetime of hearing the terribly annoying saying, “Save the best for last,” I just can’t take it any longer.

In my life and vocation it troubles me more each day. There …

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Don’t save the best for last


After a lifetime of hearing the terribly annoying saying, “Save the best for last,” I just can’t take it any longer.

In my life and vocation it troubles me more each day. There is no way we could ever know when “the last” might be. My first question is, “Why are we saving the best?”

And my second question is, “What are we waiting for?”

Micah 6:8 says, “… And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

What a simple, yet urgent calling to the purpose of our mission from the one to whom we belong, reminding us of what is genuine in properly ordering our life of discipleship. Whatever the number of our days we have left on this earth, each one is made to be generously given away as if every breath may be our last moment.

The sting of how priceless and fragile life is shows up for us every day.

This past year, I have witnessed deaths of long-time beloved friends and friends who suffered debilitating illnesses, multiple hospitalizations in near death experiences; I’ve witnessed a number of heart attacks, reoccurring cancer, and strokes, all in increasing numbers and most all in people younger than me and living lives stressed to the max. I am devastated by these losses and the loss of our dreams and the grief we face for the life we expected was ahead for us.

Maybe think twice before you tell someone to “save the best for last.” If we are faithful, we intentionally focus on the present moment in which we are living, because that’s what we are promised. This brings up so much in my mind and heart about staying centered and properly ordering one’s life.

It could be anyone’s “last minute.” So today’s probably the day to be a blessing to those who cross our path. I’m sure the world would be a different place if we worked simple acts of random kindness into our daily routine and a great habit it will become. Give away what has been given to you and work with what you have and share it!

God gives generously and freely unconditional love, grace and forgiveness — how are we faithfully giving those gifts away in the manner in which he taught us? Live large in all your “last minutes” — beginning with the one we’re in now.

And for all the rest of our last minutes, when someone asks, as we do many times a day, “How are you?” try responding with: “I’m grateful!”

Call your best friends today! Call your enemies today! And maybe we could get back to waking up to and living into that rock solid scripture: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Yep, it works. Keep investing your life in the lives of others, in the lives of those who need the gifts you have. And you need the gifts of others because we are indeed on this journey together.

And maybe now … in this “last minute” we are all living in — is the best time to go say to all those only you can know, and you do know: “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” “I love you!”

Laugh a lot more, stop taking yourself so seriously, and don’t sweat the small stuff. If we aren’t lifting each other up, we are tearing each other down — cut it out! God desperately needs us now to use his love for all his people! Follow his grace!

On a lighter note, open your cards first and your bills last, send anonymous care packages, eat the last bite of that coconut cake, go ahead and book that ATV ride over the Bighorns today with your favorite people, you will not be sorry — just ask my sons! This last minute is the best when lived for the best — so, go into all the world now and remember to whom you belong — to the very best — who gave his best so you could live your best for his purposes!


(Rev. Melinda Penry is the pastor of First United Methodist Church.)