Today marks the end of our little five-part series about ways to experience a more joyful life. Yesterday I wrote about something that I know is hard for me and something over which I’ve seen others struggle. We don’t do it often enough but we really do need to be thankful. The first three days, we talked about being content with our circumstances, not dwelling on the past and not worrying about tomorrow. Those things have a way of taking our focus off of what I believe is the most important aspect of time we experience here on earth, today. And that brings us to, well, today. Day five.
5. Live Today’s Day Today
It only happens once in an eternity: Today. Tomorrow, today will be yesterday. Yesterday, today wasn’t even here. But today is today and all that we are guaranteed, if anything, is the breath of air we currently breathe. After that, there’s no telling. I like to say that you can’t run from death. Death may come at any moment and may come in the strangest of ways and, often, when least expected.
So I say, live today’s day today. When tomorrow’s here, there’s no reason to replay yesterday. Yesterday, I had no business worrying about today. But today, there’s plenty of life to occupy my thoughts, devotions and energies. It’s been an age-old question in life, “What am I here for?” I believe we’re here for today – for we’re gone tomorrow. James 4:13-14 (NIV) reads, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes.” All the best laid plans for tomorrow at the expense of today mean nothing if we’re not there.
We’re here for the realities of today, not the memories of yesterday or the dreams of tomorrow. That’s not to say memories and dreams aren’t important. They are. They’re what gives us hope, what gives us faith, what we use to build upon along the way. But the reality is that there are many things to take care of today. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus asks the Father to “give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Two thousand years ago, a Savior was born “today” (Luke 2:11). When Jesus was on the cross, he told one of the criminals that that day, “today”, he would be with Him in paradise (Luke23:43). The writer of Hebrews suggested encouraging each other daily, as long as its called “today” (Hebrews 3:13).
Today is what we have. Today is where we live. Today is where our character and who we are as people are made and defined. At the end of all of your tomorrows, what will be said about you will depend on how you lived all of your todays. So, go. Live today to the fullest. Walk in the steps that are right there in front of you, not looking behind and not looking ahead. Stop and enjoy the sites along the way, smell the roses, hold a kid, smile at an old lady. Live life. Live today. And by all means, eat two cookies and call me in the morning.