Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Living for Today

Recently I was reminded of a favorite song in my youth, “Today,” recorded by The New Christy Minstrels in 1964. Its lyrics include, “Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine, I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine…. Who cares what the morrow shall bring.”

Wonderful, idealistic thinking, right? Even though I loved the song, I really didn’t take it to heart. I was always looking to the future: What to study in college, who I’d marry, what kind of career I’d have. Even after getting married and finishing college, I wasn’t content with “today.” I was always looking to tomorrow – wondering about looking for a different job, setting professional goals, fretting about finances.

Thankfully, the passage of years offers perspective. It’s not just having achieved dreams and goals. It’s also a result of confronting life’s challenges and, having survived them, gaining more appreciation for the moment. Recognizing the importance, as trite as it sounds, of pausing to smell the flowers. Before long, they’re gone.

When you’re young, you can’t wait for the future; as you get older you realize the other side of eternity is much closer than you thought. Each day is a gift, a sacred treasure. As Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

At the same time the Scriptures warn against preoccupation with the unforeseen and unknowable future. Jesus admonished, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

Someone has wisely observed, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. We’d be better off heeding the advice of another classic song of the ‘60s, by the Grass Roots: “don’t worry ‘bout tomorrow, hey, hey, hey…live for today.”

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