This is the Day

It is hard to believe it is already November 17. There are only thirty-eight days until Christmas, forty-seven until we usher in a new year – 2022. Every time I mention this someone replies, “Yeah, time does fly.” It certainly didn’t on Christmas Eve, when you were young, in your bed sleeping wide awake, just waiting for the sun to rise. It didn’t when you were a teenager in the middle of taking a test or when you were forced to visit a relative you really didn’t want to visit. It’s like watching soccer on television. “Is this ever going to end?” It didn’t when you were pregnant. The first few months were kind of sweet, but by about month six or seven it’s more like, “Get this thing out of me!” Am I right, ladies?

On other occasions time really does appear to fly by. Renée and I just celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. Forty years! We have three adult sons 37, 35, and 33 years old. We also now have a beautiful new six-month old grandson, Nova Michael Söderberg. It is tough to fathom but I am just two years shy of sixty years old. When did that happen? It feels like yesterday I was playing drums in my band in nightclubs from Boston to Portland, Maine. Now, retirement is only ten years away. Retirement, really? In four years, I will be eligible for Medicare. Whaaatt? Yes. At times, it seems as if life does race by at light speed.

I believe it is important though to not be preoccupied or distracted by the past or the future. Brooding over prior mistakes only plants seeds of discouragement. Panic about what is to come plants seeds of anxiety. Someone once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it’s called the present.” Sure, some days I find it hard to grasp that I have been a pastor for twenty-five years now, married for forty-five, and have three grown sons and a grandson. Does any of this information, however, directly affect whatever it is I have to do today? Not really. Every morning God gives us a new opportunity. A new chance. A fresh start. A clean slate. It does not matter how many days have passed. We have today, and what we do with today should be our main focus. As the psalmist wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

Whatever you feel as if you did not do, you can do it today. There is a popular Chinese saying that says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Whatever you think you want to do tomorrow, do it today. This is the day. As the Roman poet Horace once wrote, “Carpe diem!” “Seize the day!” It is a gift from God. He blessed you with it. Bless Him by using it well. Love someone. Help someone. Serve someone. Rejoice and be glad. 


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