The present day. This is the gift we all have, that we are most prone to throw away. Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) known for his “Fables” said: “We are never content with our lot, the worst time is always the present.” People are either focused on the past, or focused on the future. Very few people live their lives focused on the present day. Friedrich von Schiller a philosopher said: “He who neglects the present moment throws away all he has.”
Focusing on living one day at a time is Jesus’ suggestion for life in Matt 6:25-34. He warns us not to “worry about your life” or to “worry about tomorrow,” but instead we are to give God first place in every area of our life. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Psalm 90:12 LB prays: “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.”
You see, you and I often underestimate the joy that is available to us, if we would just seek out the potential in the present day.
Here are some ideas in exploring the potential of the present:
- Whatever you do have, enjoy it. Instead of focusing on what is lost, or what you don’t have, focus on what is in your possession today and celebrate and enjoy it. You have today and this day is in your possession, so make a decision to enjoy it!
- Do the good you can do for others. Prov 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back later, I’ll give it tomorrow” – when you now have it with you.”
- Use the opportunities that are available to you today. This may be a simple as choosing a different attitude today. Instead of always saying no, what happens if I say yes? Do things differently today. Jesus suggested to the disciples who had been fishing all night, to put the net out on the other side of the boat. (John 21:6) Perhaps a new approach will cause you to see the supernatural in your life.
- Be forgiving to others, and receive forgiveness. Matt 6:14 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father shall also forgive you.” Matt 5:23 MSG “…if you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, and there your suddenly remember that a friend has something against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right.”
- Decide to grow today. “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.” – Earl Nightingale. Col 2:6-7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
- Plant a seed. Do one thing today that could change your experience of the future. People who don’t harvest regularly, don’t sow regularly. Put something in the ground for the future.
Lord help me to pay careful attention to today and not to allow my lifestyle to be dominated by my past or my future. Help me to value this day that You have given me as the most important at this time. Help me to live it in such a way that at day’s end, You and I will agree that it was a day well spent. Help me to remember that this is the day that the Lord has made. Help me to rejoice in it and be glad in it. (Ps 118:24)
If today’s post really spoke to your heart, why not read one of the following too.