Psalm 118:24, Colossians 3:23
Lately I have been thinking a lot about Today. Not about the 23rd February 2010, which is the date I sit and type this. No. Today. The day that you are in right now, as you read this. The day that I'm in right now, as you read this. What are you doing with it? What am I doing with it? Are we using today in the best way we possibly can?
I'd like to take a look with you at the following verses from the Bible;
'This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in
'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the
Lord, not for men.'
These seem like simple principles; common, biblical sense for daily living. Funny then, that many of us struggle to put them into practice. We struggle to remember that the Lord has made today for us to live and live well; that he has designed our day and filled it with opportunities for His glory. We fail to rejoice in today and make the most of what it brings us. We grumble at having to wash dishes, do homework, get up early and walk the dog when it's cold, thinking that surely those things are excluded from the 'whatever' part of whatever you do bit. We spend so much time thinking about the future, that we forget to live in the here and now and serve God and enjoy the moment!
I think that there are 2 significant ways in which people struggle with this.
1) People suffer from something known as 'Destination Addiction.' Psychologist Andy Cope uses the term in his research and writing in the field of Positive Psychology.
Destination Addiction is:
- Just another 4 hours until I can call it a day and go home.
- I just need to get through the week.
- I can't wait for the weekend.
- It's only 11 weeks until my birthday.
- I really can't wait for my summer holiday.
- I'll be happier when I'm thinner.
- That pay rise will make all the difference to me.
- The next one will be Mr Right.
- I'll be better when the babies born.
- It'll be easier when they've started school.
Do any of those sound familiar? Can you recollect times when you've said similar things to yourself? Or, when you think about it, is this the way you think a lot of the time? Many of us wish time away, writing off working days, wanting to 'get through' difficult days and always thinking that things will be better when..... It's such an easy trap to fall into and many live their life like this without ever realising the need to change. Let me ask you, is this recognising that each day is one that the Lord has made? Is this what God meant by rejoicing in each day, living it as if it were for the Lord? We need to stop, to take a look at our day and say to God, 'how can I glorify You today? Help me to be a blessing to everyone that I meet. Help me to be thankful and appreciate all that I have been taking for granted.'
2) We all face difficult, lonely or sad times at some point. We go through periods when the days are hard, one after another. Maybe you're facing unhappiness in a difficult relationship or a job you dislike. Maybe you are in the drowning sensation that comes with bereavement. Maybe you have a deep unhappiness resulting from something that is happening that is out of your control. At times like these, it is so, so important to live in Today. I love the passage in Matthew 6, that ends with, 'Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' If you find yourself worrying about what the future holds, whether that be tomorrow, next week, or next year, you will become overwhelmed. When did God ask you to take on the worries of lots of days, rather than just one? God knows that what happens in 24 hours is enough for you to take on. He hasn't built us to manage a week's or a month's worth of events, hurts, problems, confusions and conflicts all in one go. It's too much. So stop. Stop. Stop.
Everytime you catch yourself thinking:
- What will tomorrow be like?
- Will I still feel the same?
- How will I get through next week when I see that person?
- What will happen when I go to that place?
- Will I ever feel happier?
- Will I ever get used to not having them around?
- Tomorrow will be just as hard as today was.
- I'll never see him/her again.
- I can't cope with that thought day in, day out. I won't cope.
Don't worry about tomorrow.
It's a choice.
So, maybe you recognise some of (1) in yourself. Or maybe you fit more into what's described in (2). Or maybe you're a bit of both. Whichever one may apply to you, it's time for change. I'm not saying don't make plans, or strive to grow, for these things are important too. But if we live our lives constantly under the restrictions mentioned in (1) or (2), it's not a healthy or helpful way to live and we end up missing out on Today, everyday.
So, take heart from the Bible verses we started with. Notice the language of choice... let us.. do it.
You can choose now. Either carry on living in the future, wishing time away or worrying, or change the way you live by living in Today.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
The Potter's House
View all Life Files by Teresa Phillips