Not long ago a man walked into the public library in St. Helena, California and returned a book. That is not unusual. The unusual part is that the book, A History of the United States, was checked out 96 years ago. The unidentified man who returned it said something about his father and gave them the book. Apparently, it was checked out in 1927, and the son is now returning it.
You ask about overdue fees? The amount was over $1700.00. The library, pleased to have the book back in its possession, would have been more than glad to forgive the amount. Perhaps if the man returning the book had known that he would have been more open about his identity. At any rate, all is well and the book, while needing some upkeep, will be back home again.
Many of us wonder if it is too late—too late to make up for previous mistakes, too late to change direction, too late to make something right, too late to ask for forgiveness, too late to receive it, too late to mend something, too late to volunteer, too late to be generous, too late to let our lives be fully reflective of Christ within us? The story of this library book is a good lesson. It is never too late.
The time to become a good steward is now. What has been, has been. Right now, you have abilities, money, and time—and a choice in how to use them. Accept forgiveness for not doing it right in the past and do it right today. As long as you have breath, life has the possibility of becoming more full of Christ and more full of joy. Whether you are 6 or 96, it is never too late.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana