There is No Other Time than NOW with God - TODAY Matters
As we continue in this first month of 2021, many of us have resolutions and goals. Some short-term, some long-term. We have to let go of the past, in order to be able to focus on the future. As one person said, “we have a tendency to remember what we should forget and to forget what we should remember.”
We Have A Tendency To Remember What We Should Forget And To Forget What We Should Remember
Too often we’re still handicapped in some fashion about the past, which we cannot change. Sometimes our long-term goals are so far ahead of us that we can’t possibly foresee the potential challenges along the road, called the future, that we FORGET about the DAY we have. Today is the only day we have. Jesus said give us this day our “daily bread.” He also said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34). Yes, we should make plans, but we shouldn’t worry about the future. Worry is like a rocking-chair as it gives us something to do, but doesn’t take us anyplace. On the other hand, CONCERN (different than worry) is channeled into action, which is positive.
I read that Emmitt Smith, the NFL hall of famer who holds the record for rushing yardage (18,355 yards), has something he called the twenty-four-hour RULE. We can only imagine the pain (physical and emotional) he entertained with both the joy of winning and the agony of defeat over his long career. How did he do it? He said, “one play at a time, one yard at a time and one game at a time.” Win or lose, he gave himself a twenty-four hour span to savor the victory or let go of the defeat. Wow, there’s a life-lesson for all of us on our journey with Christ.
Twenty-Four Hour RULE
Scripture has a lot to say about TODAY. The Lord doesn’t give us weekly, monthly or yearly bread, but rather our DAILY BREAD. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow
isn’t here yet. We can make plans for the tomorrows we hope to have, and that can be wisdom in planning for the future, but today is all we have. The reality is, today is all we can handle, in spite of some of our delusional thinking.
God has some EXPIRATION DATES on various things in scripture, and some that expire daily. One day at a time. manna expired in one day, except for the Sabbath
in the Old Testament. We’re to take up our cross – daily (Luke (9:23). We’re told to rejoice and be glad today (Psalms 118:24). His mercies are new – every morning (Lamentations 3:22). What about a deadline for anger – sundown (Ephes. 4:26)? We’re told to forgive daily (Matt. 6:12). Too often when we run beyond the day, we miss the joy of the little things that each day holds. Anyone besides me, guilty of ignoring God’s direction for his expiration dates?
“Learn from yesterday; Live for TODAY; Hope for tomorrow. There is no other time than now with God, no past and no future.” Oswald Chambers
One of my resolutions/goals for this year is to look for HIM in my daily life. Oh yes, I still have long-term goals and plans, but I can only live one-day at a time. Holy Spirit, what are you saying to me today? I read recently that a psychologist, Matthew Killingsorth, did a study that revealed the average person spends approximately 50% of their time thinking about something other than the present time. Said another way, we’re only here half the time. I resemble that at times. How about you? I wonder how many wives already knew that about their husbands? Also, I wonder how many preachers already knew that about the group they were speaking to.
We’re Only Here Half The Time
HOW do we FOCUS on today, while planning for the tomorrows of life?
A few SUGGESTIONS… ONE is to make a PRIOTIY to spend some time with the Lord (quiet time, devotion, etc.) daily. When we hang out with HIM, He has a way of guiding our steps, thoughts, words and bringing divine connections to us on our daily journey with HIM. Nothing ever surprises Him. He provides us with opportunities to both “receive from” and “give to” others. Ask to be His heart, His words and His hands to others and you’ll be amazed at the God-connections He provides.
A SECOND is to believe and to say to ourselves, “I can do this FOR A DAY.” What does that mean to you? It may mean breaking the chain of an addiction, habit or stronghold. It might be speaking to the mountain of fear, bitterness, gossip, or depression. Can we do it for A DAY? Don’t think about a week, month or year, but a DAY. Yes, by His grace and His help, we can change our future….that begins with TODAY. I remember a quote from John Maxwell, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.
You Will Never Change Your LIFE Until You Change Something You Do DAILY
A THIRD suggestion is to realize that we all are leaving a legacy, one DAY at a time. If this was our last day prior to graduation, what words would we say to our family and those around us? Would we spend time carrying the yesterdays that were negative and painful? Would we go down every rabbit-trail of offense and live in strife. No, we would try to make this last day matter by focusing on things that last for eternity (important), rather than the temporal (urgent).
We’re all challenged in different ways, but at the end of the day, we CHOOSE if we’re going to focus on Jesus, self, others, or circumstances. Each day is filled with opportunities, as well as distractions.. On the farm, we know that we have to go through the barnyards of life in order to get to the barn. Will we focus on the barnyard, or the barn?
I’m so glad the Holy Spirit lives within us and wants to HELP US throughout our daily life. He helps us to realize and experience the joy - that TODAY MATTERS.
I’m reminded of a story (50+ years ago) about a man who owned a small pharmacy in a country town. During that time period, pharmacist often had to mix medications (liquid form) and place the contents in empty bottles. One day his young son saw the various shapes of the bottles: round, rectangular, large, small, etc. He asked his dad which bottle was the most valuable. The father replied, “It’s not the size or shape of the bottle that makes it valuable, it’s what we put into it that makes it valuable.” If we want a better DAY, it’s not who we are, (gender, ethnicity, background) or what we do, it’s what we put into the day that makes it valuable.
One of my minister friends has the following at the end of all his emails, that caught my attention. “Many spend their life investing in the things of this world, oblivious to investing in things that matter forever. How is your heavenly portfolio looking?" Wow – a good reset for each of us daily.
May I encourage you to take time today to renew your relationship with Jesus and to look for opportunities to be a Blessing to those around you on your journey with HIM.