Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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Live this Day

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

We have probably heard this verse quoted so often in church that we come to believe that it refers to Sunday only.  Not so.  Since it came from the Old Testament, it would refer to Saturday if anything, but there is no mention of any particular day in Psalm 118.  The only thing that we can conclude is that every day is the day that the Lord has made and we should be glad and rejoice in every day that he gives to us.  That is as true of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and the rest, as it is of Sunday!

But, we often have a bigger problem than this, and that is that we fail to live in whatever day it happens to be that we have been given.  At times we will longingly look for the "good old days," and want to go back there.  Maybe we are overcome with regrets for things that we have done in the past and wish we could go back and change things.  At other times, we can hardly wait for some event that we anticipate will come to pass in the future.  Maybe we live each day simply hoping it will get better someday.  As we do any of these things, we end up missing out on the day that we have been given.

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift ó that is why we call it the present.
ó Anonymous

Scripture says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past" (Isaiah 43:18), and "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).  This is the day that the Lord has made.  It is the only day that we have.  Today is your gift.  That is why it is called the present.  And we need to be in it.  Full of joy and gladness!

I had planned to write this for a few days now, and as I was writing, my daughter Meaghan, came to me with a writing assignment for her grade 12 creative writing class.  I couldn't say it any better than she has, so I simply repeat her words (please allow me the blessing of being a proud father!):

The Simplicity of the Moment
by Meaghan Koop

Is simplicity the key?  It seems that Christianity has become overly complicated.  I want to do everything God has instructed me to and be everything I can be for Christ, but too often everything I could  be or should  be overwhelms me and then I fail to be anything at all or I simply fail to be.  Ya, itís true, in every moment of everyday I may not be consciously living out Godís every instruction or even suggestion, but if I can focus less on the instructions and more on God, I know that I will at least be living  every moment of the day.  If I live less for  God and more with  God, those things God wants from me should follow in my life as a result.  I hate being bogged down by what I havenít been in the past and everything I want to be in the future.  If I take my focus from everything I wish to be and simply be with God, those things should begin to become a part of my life ó not as something I have to consciously choose to do, but as a result of my focus on God and the time spent with Him.  The simplicity I long for comes from merely living with God in the moment and living every moment with God.  The only thing I can do anything about is this very moment.  To live with God we have to live in the moment for he is the great I AM ó not the great I was or the great I will be but rather the great I AM.  We can only live, grow, and change in the moment we are living right now.   So we canít let it pass by regretting the past or planning the future.  The only moment to live is this one ó the one right in front of you.  Live the moment with God and focus only on what he has for you this moment.

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