13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16 NIV)
Today’s Scripture is a humble reminder that “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NIV) And this is the only day that I have. There is no guarantee that I will ever see another day. I have no written contract assuring me that I am going to live to the end of the week much less a “long” life. Some may read those comments as morbid or pessimistic, but God’s Word reassures me that they are simply the truth.
I believe with all of my heart that how I live this day, August 28, has everything to do with whether I keep James 4:13-16 ever before me or simply put it out of my mind and live like I will be around forever. If I choose to do the later then I will put off the things that really need to be done now. There are broken relationships that need to be reconciled, there are hurts that need to be forgiven, there are opportunities that need to be seized. If I simply say, “I don’t want to have to deal with that today, but I will get around to it.” My experience tells me that I really won’t. On the other hand, if I know that today is the one day I’ve got to do the things that are most important then I will make them a priority–today. I will put aside the non-essential distractions of life and focus on the essential.
I’ve sat by the bedside of far too many people who were nearing the end of their lives and listened to their regrets and their thoughts of what they “wished” they had done. I don’t want the powerful lessons I’ve learned from those who saw their past with absolute clarity to escape me–I want to learn from them so that I won’t make the same mistakes. I want to live in such a way today so that when I lay my head down tonight, if I get that opportunity, I won’t look back and see that I missed important opportunities the Lord brought my way.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will keep me mindful of the fact that this moment is all of I’ve got so that I will be attentive to the things that are most important.