Today. The day that comes after yesterday and happens before tomorrow. It is the present, the now, this moment. It is here. It isn’t just a day. It’s the greatest day. According to The Smashing Pumpkins it is “the greatest day I’ve ever known.” It’s great. It’s important. It matters. It is a gift. It is what God has entrusted to us.
Do you believe it? Do you live like you believe it?
I believe it. I struggle to live like I believe it, but I do believe it. I am working on it. God continues to work in me, on me and through me. He has been speaking this message into my life for the last few months. He began to show me verses like:
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “today”, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
I felt challenged to look at how I was living. The mirror showed me worry, a constant concern about tomorrow and questions about the future. Should I continue writing books and pursuing speaking? Should I eliminate Impact 52? What am I going to do next month? How am I going to pay for that? The constant “look ahead” left me walking through “today” like a lifeless zombie. I was missing the wonderful that existed in each day. The blessings that were right under my nose. I was taking things, all things, people, for granted. Then God led me to this:
And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3-4
I needed to become like a child again. Finding joy and excitement in the little things. Living every moment to the fullest. I needed to live each day with childlike wonder. God started to break me. One night after playing basketball I sat and stared at the ball that sat by my feet. I found myself staring at it, zoned out to everything else around me. And then I was flooded with emotions. In that moment I realized just how much that round, air-filled piece of leather had given me in life. It gave me great relationships with my father who was a coach and my mother who loved the game, an unbreakable bond with my older brother, high school friendships that will last forever, memories that I will always cherish, and so much more. It took me to Central Michigan University where I lived out one of my childhood dreams, received a college education, met my beautiful wife, and again created memories and friends that I will never forget. The lessons I’ve learned from that ball, a toy, are endless. It taught me about hard work, independence, failure, struggle, perseverance, competition, winning and losing. I could go on forever. I will spare you by not doing that. I laced up my shoes, walked to the car and began to cry. Tears streamed down my face during my twenty-minute drive home. My world was rocked. In the days that followed I found myself being amazed by life. I was in awe of automobiles that passed me on the roads, beautiful blue skies and large trees, my wonderful family, animals, music. The list is endless. I was experiencing life like a child. The days were brighter and worry was less.
This weekend I experienced that childlike wonder again through the eyes of 3 year-old twins. Their short 3 years on this planet have been difficult. The cards are stacked against them because their birth mother was an addict. Life isn’t, and won’t, be easy for them. They are, however, beginning to experience life as it is intended. It is now filled with a loving family and life’s simple pleasures. I watched them enjoy a swing, bubbles, silly noises and funny faces. They smiled. They laughed. They wanted more. They enjoyed each and every moment without worrying about the next. That is what I want. I, too, want to enjoy this moment without worrying about the next.
I don’t think that I need to tell you that life is short. You have heard it many times before. Just know that it is truth. Today is what we are promised and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. Let’s make today the priority and worry about tomorrow when it becomes today.
Be grateful for everything, the good and the bad. Rejoice in all things. Laugh and smile. Love hard. Don’t take the basketballs in your life for granted. Appreciate every person in your life.
I don’t know that tomorrow will bring and that is okay.
Today is the only day that matters. Let’s live like we believe it.