I’ve challenged myself to this every day for a while:
Live today so that I am closer to God at the end of the day than I was at the beginning.
It’s challenging. Most mornings, one of the first thoughts I have is, “Thank you, God.” As I begin the day, I have so much to thank him for. Just the basics: rest, a new day, a safe home, family and friends, the ability to think. I continue to thank him throughout the day. I know his presence, and I seek his wisdom. I attempt to be willing to respond the way he intends. I want to follow his purpose. But people and situations can be frustrating and overwhelming. It can be easier to step back and be silent or speak up in ways and times I know he doesn’t intend. So at the end of the day, as I reflect on the times I struggled, I wonder if I’m actually closer to God than I was at the beginning of the day. Every now and then, I’m not sure, and I’m sorry. But I’m thankful the night makes way to a new day with fresh opportunities to repair the day before as well as move forward. We often want the new day to move on from everything of the past, but we all know that’s not the reality. We have to decide how to repair relationships, admit our weaknesses, rebuild trust, solve remnants of problems, and cope well with consequences. It’s part of the opportunities of the new day.
Most days, I do believe I’m closer to God than when the day began. Not because I did anything exceptionally well but because God pursues me more persistently than I pursue him. He allows those struggles I had throughout the day, and he provided. I might not have fully accepted his guidance. I might not have understood. And, most definitely, everything was not tied up in a pretty bow at the end of the day. But God is good. His character and my willingness are a pretty good combination most days, and I wouldn’t want to do life with anyone else.
Perhaps you’d like to challenge yourself with the goal of being closer to God at the end of today than you are right now. It’s quite the journey.