I admit that I find it difficult to live in the moment. It’s simply too easy to look ahead and begin to worry over something that hasn’t happened yet. And then more often than not, when that worrisome event arrives, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place. Often times our stewing is simply wasted energy. Is this something you can relate to?
My father had a small plaque on the wall of his bedroom when I was growing up. It read, “Trust God and Live a Day at a Time.” When he passed away I took that little treasure and have had it on my office wall ever since. I see it every day, but seldom take the time to really ingest its meaning. The words are easy to say, but not as easy to put into practice. In Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, He taught His disciples something similar: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has trouble enough of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NIV).
So why is it so difficult to exist in the present and not dwell on the uncertainties of tomorrow? After all, the only thing that truly exists is right now. My niece once told me, “The future does not actually exist.” She also said this: “Because the future is just a projection of the mind, it is impossible to cope with it and is easy to get lost in worrying about potential scenarios that could or could not happen.” Such a wise girl!
But if you’re like me, worry is an easy habit to adopt even when our Savior advises against it: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV). Living in the present moment needs to become a daily state of mind if we want to achieve a peaceful existence. Another friend once shared with me these six words, “Right here, right now, I’m safe.” She would recite this phrase when her mind drifted towards concerns for tomorrow. Not a bad idea. But more importantly, we need to take a deep breath and ask God to calm our thoughts and help us live in the moment, because if we’re honest with ourselves, right now is all we have.
Thankfully our lives are of the utmost importance to our heavenly Father, and He’s blessed us with words of wisdom to help us live for today: “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5, NIV). So there you have it; irrefutable proof that God loves you and covets your trust. He doesn’t want you spending your time worrying about tomorrow or about things that haven’t happened yet. Living one day at a time takes effort on our part, but if we learn to place our lives in Jesus’s hands, I believe we’ll all be better off for it.
On a final note, my daughter recently received flowers from her boyfriend; a brownie point gesture for any men reading this devotional; wink-wink! These lovely flowers are called Day Lilies. They bloom, display their beauty and then shrivel overnight. It’s actually a mite sad when you ponder how short their life is. As I grabbed my camera to capture one of the final blossoms, it was then my wife reflected on how all they have is a single day to impact the world around them. Then she added, “As God’s children, we should try to follow their lead and live in the moment. We don’t have yesterday or tomorrow.” Another wise lady!
I’d like to encourage you that even if you’re in the middle of a bad day right now and you harbour legitimate fears for tomorrow, or even regrets over yesterday, pray and ask God to take care of your anxious spirit. He’s the master planner and is one hundred percent tuned into you, right here and right now. Let’s say together with confidence, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24 NLT)
Trust God and live one day at a time.