“One day at a time,” is my fairly standard answer to the frequent inquiry, “How are you doing?” The answer is really my survival choice! Spending too much time remembering a life that is no longer mine only deepens sorrow. The future for all of us is unknown, but for me it is a big question mark. I am not making any plans right now. Learning to be present in the moment is a gift of grief, I suppose.
So, how about you? Are you alive today, aware of the opportunities and people around you? Are you making the mistake of trying to relive yesterday’s glories, giving regret your attention so that you spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to erase some ugly blot that stains the record? At the opposite pole, are you leaning so far forward, grasping at tomorrow’s resources or rewards with such eagerness that you are failing to ‘smell the roses’ along the path you are presently walking?
Lewis Smedes wrote with wisdom about living now! “My date book has become a parable … When I get out a new one, I see page after page of blank squares, each representing a day of my life. Each square bounded by four solid lines. My job is to fill up each of the squares with all the things that I do every day. When I get one square nicely filled, at the magic moment of midnight, an invisible door opens and I am silently slurped into the next square where I do it all over again. My life – filling up the squares.” He went on to explain that there is no door to yesterday. It is sealed! The door to tomorrow cannot be kicked open early no matter how frantically we try.
Jesus commands us to live in the moment. In a culture that presses us to plan for every contingency, that gives us a thousand strategies for success, we must work at finding contentment in today! Jesus never condemned prudent preparation, but He was consistent in His warnings about spending too much time in ‘yesterday’ or ‘tomorrow.’ His model prayer says, “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11, NIV) and then promises if we “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions … You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:33, The Message) His conclusion is both a challenge and an invitation to peace: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34, NIV)
In my waking moments today, memories danced through the darkness –inviting me to guilt, regretting choices made that cannot be undone. Concerns about the future rolled into my consciousness trying to convince me that only some radical action that would turn life upside down could relieve my sorrow. Prayerfully, I refused to indulge those temptations, asking the Spirit to lead me to live fully today! You may not be in the same situation in which I am but I know that the Enemy of your soul and your old sinful nature will both try to abuse the past and the future to keep you from enjoying the Presence of God today.
Christian, leave the sins of your past with Christ Jesus, accepting His forgiveness. Remember, God removes our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:120
Entrust your future to His providence. When we live fully aware of His Spirit today, we have full confidence that He will prepare in us and for us all that we need for tomorrow!
Don’t let conversations happen while you are already moving on to the next encounter.
Engage, don’t drift!
Pray prayers of gratitude and acceptance that allow you to make the most of today’s opportunities.
Rich, poor, young, and old – there is one thing we all have in common – today.
Here is a word from the Word. May the wisdom of the Spirit make it a way of life for us. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9-10, NIV)
Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Give unto each day what He deems best;
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure,
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As your days, your strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Day By Day -Berg, Carolina Sandell / Ahnfelt, Oscar / Skoog, Andrew
© Public Domain