the gift of today

Why are we so insistent on living for tomorrow? What’s the rush to get through today?

My constant propensity to get to tomorrow has often left me with a lack of contentment for today. Living for the future (much like living in the past) appears much more enticing than living in today.

The future holds so much potential! So much “what could be” and so much “better than right now.” And it can easily cause us to forget about the today. Maybe we want the tomorrow because of the pain of today. Or maybe it’s just because we aren’t really living today and so it’s mundane and monotonous.

In Matthew 6 Jesus calls us to a life that puts less focus on tomorrow and more on the right now:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.         

Matthew 6:25-34

He’s talking about worry and he’s talking about the worry of whether or not we will have our basic needs met. But living in this land of wealth and ease I wonder if I have simply changed the things I worry about.

As an American I have had difficult financial times in my life. I’ve struggled to pay bills, I’ve been behind, and I’ve not always known where the money was going to come from to pay for this or that.

But I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never been faced with the tragedy of nothing to clothe myself with. I’ve never been truly faced with these difficult and life-threatening problems Jesus is identifying.

But I have worried about tomorrow. I have obsessed over whether or not this plan or that plan will come to fruition. I have plotted and planned and worked so hard for tomorrow that I failed to note anything of significance about today.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t plan and be responsible and make ready so we are prepared for tomorrow. I’m just saying that Jesus is calling us to not get overly obsessed with tomorrow. He is encouraging us to not miss today because we long so much for tomorrow.

Today, I choose to live in the present. To embrace today and all that it holds; difficult and easy, painful and joyful. Whether it comes with laughter or tears. I want to be fully in this moment, living today.

Ultimately it’s an invitation to trust God with tomorrow and receive from him today.

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