Today I’m thankful for today.
We are really good in the western world at thinking about what the future holds. It seems that we are always looking ahead to what will happen.
It’s common to be planning for 30 years from now either by investing for retirement or dreaming of the day that you don’t need to pay a monthly mortgage.
Many people have at least thought about some vacation they’d love to take 3 years from now, like to the islands of Hawaii, backpacking through Europe, or Disney World.
Schedules 3 months down the road are sometimes so full that there is no room for plans to change.
We often are looking forward to an event or celebration three weeks from now.
And by now, many of you are already excited for three days from now because that’ll be Wednesday and another weekend is almost here.
Looking ahead isn’t inherently bad. In fact, it would be unwise to completely live with no plans for the future. All throughout the scriptures, the writers of the Bible share the wisdom of making plans. In Genesis, Joseph, as the second in command of Egypt, stores excess grain for the coming famine, and his actions led to the preservation of the people of Israel.
Jesus in Luke 14:28 reminds the people that if you are going to build a tower (or building) the best people plan and count the cost before building it. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, provides a plan for the people of Corinth to support his ministry. "On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come." (1 Corinthians 16:2)
Planning is part of who God has created us to be. That’s why, for over a year, my 4-year-old daughter has said she wants to be a doctor in the future. We are born to dream about what we would like to happen. It is good to set aside things from the present for the future.
But there is no guarantee that 30 years from now it is something we will live to see. Our life situation might change and we don’t get a chance to go on that vacation to Hawaii or backpack across Europe.
That’s why I am thankful for today.
Before Anders died, I was thinking about all of the great things that are going to happen in the future with him. I was thinking about coaching him in baseball, watching him serve on mission trips, and going to college. But none of that happened with him.
I didn’t even get to see his first birthday.
I was gone on my first Father’s Day since I thought I’d have many more with my kids.
What I’ve gotten from these experiences is perspective. The perspective that TODAY is a gift. TODAY is really the day I can make the most impact. Living here and now is something now at the front of my mind.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches the crowds at the Sermon on the Mount about the perspective of today. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)
In fact, I am living with my biggest reminder of the importance of living today. Linnea’s life reminds me to live today. And she was named based on the passage from Matthew 6 about worry.
So today, I am thankful for today. And tomorrow, I’ll be thankful for (a new) today.
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