By Patricia Jackson
For many years, I have studied God’s word from a small bible, a hand-typed, 5 x 3 index card serves as my bookmark. It would be impossible to count the number of times I touched this yellow, dog-eared, un-dated index card, as I read various passages of scriptures. Months, probably years passed with little notice of the words typed long ago. As with most of us, the cares of life, working, children, finances, health and a hundred other things consume our thoughts daily. And often when we lie down to sleep at night, we have thoughts of the past or how we will proceed in the future. Until yesterday, I had not recently read the words on the bookmark:
“God, I spend so much time reliving yesterday or anticipating tomorrow that I lose sight of the only time that is really mine – the present. Remind me that the past, with its successes and failures, is over. I can make amends where I have hurt others, or let them down, but I cannot undo what has been done. The future is yet to be and eagerness or apprehension will not hasten it or postpone it. You give me today, one minute at a time. That’s all I have – all I ever will have. Give me the faith that knows each moment contains exactly what is best for me. Give me the hope that trusts you enough to forget past sins and future trials. Give me the love that makes each minute of life anticipation of eternity with you.”
Precious words; words I needed to remember each today, to guide me and direct my paths. But why does God want us to live in the present, not the past or future? It may be difficult for us to understand the dimensional aspect of time, but time is only now. Our life is not like the movie “Groundhog Day”, with Bill Murray, where each day is repeated. Our life is like a vapor for a moment, then disappears. There has never been a time when our life wasn’t now. Winston Churchhill said, “If the present quarrels with the past, there can be no future”. Psalms 68:19 says “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loaded us with benefits”. If we are not truly aware of each moment today, we may fail to recognize his benefits and blessings of this very special moment in time. If we put our energy into thinking about the past or future, we may not realize how quickly the present moment flies by. Living in the present allows us to be thankful for everything.
But what about tomorrow? In Matthew 6:34, Jesus tells us “Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself”. We don’t have to worry about it, God is in charge!! God’s word promises us food and raiment, blessings, and eternity if we follow him. Proverbs 16:9 tells us that “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps”. It doesn’t matter how much thought, energy, or time we invest in our future, God will determine the direction of our future. Therefore our time is often wasted in this process, as the special moments of “now” are ignored.
Proverbs 27:1 says, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth”. No one is assured of a tomorrow because we don’t hold the times and seasons in our hands. It is “appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment”. Tomorrow may not dawn for you or me. (Hebrews 9:27) Therefore we need to commit our today and our future plans into God’s hands.
As we forgive and forget past failures and sins of ourselves and others, let’s place each day, each moment, in God’s hands, because today will never come back. Once a day ends, it can never be reclaimed.
Patricia Jackson is the Assistant Teacher for the Ladies Class at Redeemed Free Will Baptist Church, Glenwood, NC. She is a grant writer for non-profits, a published author and retired Nursing Home Administrator. She lives in Rutherford County with her husband. Contact information: email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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