13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” — 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-15 (ESV)
All we have is this moment. Yesterday is long gone and in God’s hands. Tomorrow holds no guarantee. In fact, what happens later today is of no true certainty.
We spend so much of our lives fretting over past mistakes or planning for the future that we forget the moment we are in. The here and now escapes us.
There is much wisdom in planning for the future. As George Harrison sang, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” We need a path, a plan, a map, or we’ll end up going ’round in circles, wearing down a path but going nowhere.
But, by the same token, we cannot be so focused on the days to come that we don’t take the time for where we are now. This morning I started with a plan for my day. Book work to do. Blogging to do. Shopping to do. Cleaning to do. To do to do to do…
Had I stopped to take a moment and see the world around me right now, I would have missed the beautiful scene of the sun rising over downtown Minneapolis (as photographed above). It makes me wonder how much wonder I miss in the swirl of busyness.
We have surrendered our awareness to our careers and hectic schedules and PDAs and long commutes and social media… And awareness is most vital to our walk. If are not present in the he and now, how can we possibly experience the glory of God? How can we see Him working in our lives when all we do is run and go and live for tomorrow? No wonder people dread Mondays.
Just like the parable,of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25, we need to be prepared. We need to have enough oil in our lamps. But, we also need to be aware of this moment. This is where we live. This is where we are. Never lose sight of that.
Our children won’t be children forever. Our parents won’t always be with us. The unexpected hits and our lives change in an instant. Life is a vapor. So don’t spend your life on uncertainty. Invest the time you have in the here and now. Don’t be so busy chasing dreams that you miss the blessings of the moment: the wonder of God around you, the love of those in your life, the blessing you can be in the work you now have your hand on the plow to do.
The past is gone. Trust it to the Lord, Who exists outside of space and time. The future may not be. Trust in the Lord to guide you where you need to go. Be here now. Live in this moment. Seize it. Be aware. Seek the Lord. Love heartily. Revel in His grace. Stop worrying. Start living.