Being Resolute in Today

So God planned another day, called “today.” He spoke about that day through David a long time later in the same Scripture used before: “Today listen to what he says. Do not be stubborn.” — Psalm 95:7-8 (Hebrews 4:7)

Is the majority of your focus on yesterday, today, or tomorrow?

How much do you take today for granted?

What do you have planned for today?

We can easily become so consumed with the yesterdays and tomorrows of our lives that we miss out on the todays. Yesterdays are simply past todays that we can no longer change. However, we can change how we respond to yesterdays in our today. Tomorrows are simply future todays we cannot yet live. However, we can prepare for our tomorrows in our today. Yesterdays and tomorrows shape our todays; there’s no doubt about that. We can’t completely ignore yesterdays and tomorrows, yet they often consume our todays. Today is what we have to live fully right now. Why waste it?

There are possibilities in today. We can grasp the moment we have or resign ourselves to it. We can find purpose or meaninglessness, be encouraged or discouraged, and stand on a firm foundation or stumble across shaky ground. God gives us many choices, but he gives them to us one at a time. We often focus on the big opportunities of our days – or we turn something small into something big – and we’re soon so consumed with one thing that we miss out on many others. Or we focus so much on the way in which we reached our today, basically focused on yesterday, that we miss out on the opportunity to shape our tomorrows. You get only one today. As you read this, the moment is gone. You can’t grasp the moment and keep it. You can only choose well and live it fully. Will you?

Keep a small notebook with you and jot one word each time you experience the opportunities God is providing you through the day. As you experience God more, you’ll watch for, notice, and acknowledge him more.

Vacation Begins Today – Or Not.

As people began to chat on our early morning shuttle to the airport, Tim and I learned the couple next to us were leaving for Mexico for the second time in two days.

They lived 2 1/2 hours from the airport and woke up at 2:30 a.m. to being the journey to their 7 a.m. flight. They arrived at the parking garage with plenty of time remaining before their flight but soon made an unsettling discovery. They’d left their passports on the kitchen counter.

There would be no travelling to Mexico that day. They rearranged their travel plans, drove the five-hour round trip, and returned to the airport area the same day to stay at a hotel. They didn’t want a 2:30 a.m. alarm to wake them a second day in a row.

It wasn’t a great way to begin a vacation, but someone on the shuttle commented on how they seemed to be handling it. The wife replied, “We weren’t quite this calm yesterday morning.”

When has something been postponed for you, something you’ve been anticipating? A new job. Wedding. Surgery. Home improvement. Retirement. Children. Education.

What was your initial response? How did your response change over time? What did you experience and learn through the postponement process?

Our timing doesn’t usually match God’s timing. I’m a recovering control freak, so I like to imagine I have a bit of control and that I do a pretty good job of planning and preparing. But I’ve come to realize that even if I was the world’s best planner, my expert skills wouldn’t come close to God’s perfect timing. He has a perspective I don’t have. He knows every piece of the puzzle and how to best fit them together for a beautiful, seamless picture.

I’m not inactive in the process. I need to click some of those pieces in place as he reveals them to me, which means I need to pay attention and be sensitive to his leading. God wants me to be active, because he wants a relationship with me. He created me for relationship.

What does God have purposed for you today? I don’t know the specifics, but I know two things for sure.

    1. Be still and listen.
    2. Be active. Not just a hearer but a doer of his Word.

God knows your yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows.

You can trust his timing, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

The First

Today was my first book signing. I reflected other firsts in my life.

Some firsts are exciting.

  • 1st day of kindergarten. (I really liked my pink pleated skirt!)
  • 1st paycheck. (Even if I got sun poisoning lifeguarding that summer.)
  • 1st dorm room. (Cleaning the floor with Pledge was not a great idea.)
  • 1st car. (I sacrificed my 2-door Ciera to accommodate a car seat. Great exchange!)
  • 1st plane ride. (And the grandest view of a sunset in my life to date.)
  • 1st cell phone. (Even if it didn’t fit in my pocket!)

Some not-so-fun firsts.

  • 1st speeding ticket.
  • 1st overdraft notice.
  • 1st surgery.
  • 1st perm.

My first date was rather boring. My first kiss was too sloppy. My first bridesmaid dress was hideous.

Firsts can be…thrilling, frightening, or disastrous. The first can make a huge impression or get lost in surrounding details. Sometimes we soon get caught in a routine so that the first doesn’t seem as significant. Sometimes the first is so remarkable that everything that follows is a disappointment.

The first is a beginning. The first starts something. We don’t stay in the first. We grow from it. We can appreciate it, but we shouldn’t steep in it. We should step out of it. It’s a journey.

You experience a first every day of your life. If you stay aware, you’ll likely find something fresh in your day to celebrate as a first. A seed planted to grow in the coming days. If you notice nothing new in your day, it’s at least the first day of the rest of your life. That phrase might seem lofty and dreamy, but it can also serve as a practical reminder.

I have a choice to live today in a way that sets the foundation for tomorrow. Hopefully, many of the days leading up to this one have set firm foundations on which I’m now building. Firsts lead the way. Today sets the pace and priorities. You can wait until tomorrow’s today to make changes, but why waste today?

I remember the “today” I decided to live every other today for the rest of my life for God. But I’m not going to stay in the memory of that day. I don’t want to lose today…and the opportunity to choose to live for God in the details of today. I haven’t filled every today with great choices – not even close. But each day – each today – sets the pace and priority for the next.  

What pace and priority are your setting today?

 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8