During a recent NFL game, I watched as the offensive team drove to the opponent’s one yard line and was preparing to score. Trailing by just five points, they only needed this touchdown to win, as there was only a few seconds left in the game.

But then, a grievous error was committed by that team, and the referee’s whistle was heard. The problem? Delay of game! They had taken too much time to start the play that would have won them the game. The penalty? They were moved five yards further away from the goal line. When they finally executed their last play, the other team stopped them at the one yard line, just one yard short of their intended goal.

Just three lousy little feet short of winning.

Now, let me explain a little more about this team. They had played a wonderful game. They had fought hard and faithfully to get within only five points of the other team at the end of the game. In the first fifty-nine minutes of that sixty minute contest, they had played to win. But, in the very last minute, they caused themselves to lose everything they had worked so hard to achieve.

As I was sipping on my coffee today and thinking back on the game, I re-visited the foolishness of that game delay. And I suddenly realized it was much like so many people today. Folks can start out in life with good intentions and solid workable plans. They surround themselves with like-minded teammates in life, and together they fight long and hard to achieve their goal. But somewhere along the years, they somehow begin to think they have plenty of time, so they began to be side tracked from their goal and get delayed…and that can cause a costly penalty.

Folks, we all seem to feel there is plenty of time, but in reality there is not. I do not think that anyone plans to settle on anything less than their intended goals of success, or to have their final Home as any place less than Heaven. But Scripture says, “Life is as a sigh.” Life is here, but then it can be gone in a heartbeat. And the stark truth is this: You do not have any idea when that last heartbeat is gonna happen. You cannot afford to simply delay, because it can suddenly be too late.

If you want to mend a relationship that is broken – do it now. If you hope to make proper plans for eternity – do it now. If you seek to change your habits, your lifestyle, or your career plans…do it now. Because delay may penalize you from realizing your greatest dreams.

The football team I spoke about? They had no one to blame but themselves. They had great plans, but took too long to act on them. The Bible says, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, as tomorrow is promised to no man.”