I love the lyrics of a Phil Phillips song that tells a story that starts with time. It goes: Scared of what's behind you; And scared of what's in front; Live with what you have now; And make the best of what's to come. It’s a beautiful song that considers life and death and the need to see what is right in front of you and live fully into the moment.
In order to do this best, you have to be open to what God has to show you. The best place to find Him is in the now. We humans, however, prefer to live in the past or the future. The whole idea of retirement, that has baby boomers pacing the floors, is not even in the Bible. I'm not saying that it’s not good or wise to invest for retirement, but we can get so focused on future goals or past glories or mistakes that we don't live into the day and moments we have right now.
Real living means taking note of the now. God tells us:
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13).
Have you done that today? Do you live into the moments and people God sends you each day? How many blue jays did you spot on your walk? What surprised you most about this day? How did you see God transforming you into His likeness today?
Days take on similar characteristics and regular cycles yet each day only passes once and it cannot be taken back. You must live it or else you will waste it. You can never get it back.
The story of your earthly life is contained by time. God has designed a limited time for each person who is conceived. We don't all get equal time on the earth. We don't have the same opportunities or talents and abilities. Many of those decisions were left up to God too. What we do have is the faculties to recognize our space in time. When we fill that space with awareness of God and His gift of our lives here on earth, we know how to live in the now.
Future-tripping robs us of the joy and wonders of the now. How can you become aware of God’s gifts to you in this moment? Breathe in that fresh clean air—God gave you that breath. Take note of what is nearest to you in a one foot circumference. What do you see? How is it a gift to you? Does anything you look at invite you to live your life more fully in this moment?
A spiritual discipline that helps me grasp one moment from the day before is called Examen. I write down the one moment from the day before that was most meaningful to me, where I felt most loved. Contained on my list are seemingly insignificant moments that brought connection to God in an otherwise ordinary existence.
Our story begins with time. It’s not so much about making each day standout as it is about recognizing that each day is a gift to be lived fully.