Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The other day in the lunch room, I was talking to one of my colleagues.  He’s getting ready to become a grandfather for the first time and for the second time as his daughter and daughter-in-law are both expecting babies to arrive in the new year.  As we talked, we both agreed that time was going by so quickly.

He commented that the days go by so fast.  He is trying to enjoy each day.  He said, “Yesterday is gone.  I can’t get it back.”

A couple of verses came to mind as I pondered this conversation:

All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.

Isaiah 40:6-8


So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

Ephesians 5:15-16


Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 

Colossians 4:2-6


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34


Life truly is short.  We get 24 hours a day.  We get 365 days in a year.  And we get approximately 85 years in our life time.  If we blink it will be gone.

We have a choice to make.  We get let these numbers depress us.  Or we can use them as a reminder to make the most of the days we’ve been given.  What’s your choice?

Here’s a few thoughts that might help you change your thinking:

  1. “Have To” versus “Get To”Do you have to go to work today?  Or do you get to go to work today?  Do you see how changing one word in that question can change the whole thing?  I get to go to work today.  I get to work with a great team as we wrestle through some great challenges.  I get to go to my son’s basketball practice tonight.  I get to finalize our Christmas letter tonight.
  2. Celebrate the past and move forward.  There are many things from our past that deserve pondering and celebration, but we need to keep moving.  I’ve been guilty of dwelling on the bad things from my past.  It’s kind of like stepping in a pile of dog poop and deciding to stand there.  We need to move away from the pile.  Sure, we need to clean up our messes, but we then need to move on.
  3. Plan for the future, but be present today.  I believe that good stewardship involves planning for the future, but we must not get so focused on the future that we forget about today.  How can we be more intentional with the time we’ve been given this day?  How does this impact my family, my job, and my other areas of passion and interest?  Am I making the most of these moments?  These are important questions to answer.
  4. Live like we’re dying.  How would you change the way you live today if you knew you only had limited time left?  Thinking this way brings perspective and a sense of urgency.  Let’s make the most of these days!

What do you think?  What other ideas can you add to the list above?  Are you stuck in the past?  How are you being intentional today?