In the past, being task and challenge oriented, I found myself resisting the advice of those around me to slow down, get some rest, and take time to rejuvenate. Their perspective just didn't fit into my strategy to accomplish great things, which would provide a foundation for even greater opportunity, or so I thought.
I found myself living in the future. It began early in my life when, as an elementary school athlete I practiced and studied hard in order to do well in junior high, so I could be successful in high school, and then get into college, and then get into grad school, and then ... you get the picture. It was somehow ingrained in me that what I was doing now was just setting the table for future opportunities.
This perspective has stayed with me into adulthood, through my career in the corporate world, and into my pastoral ministry. I too often find myself living in the future as though today is merely a launching pad for tomorrow.
I can tell you, this is both dangerous and suffocating! Here's what I have learned, and am continuing to learn: Planning for the future is godly; living for the future is poor stewardship.
Each day comes from God as a 24-hour gift, wrapped up in his grace, with unique opportunities to demonstrate his glory. There will never be another day just like it ... ever. Take the day, and make it great knowing that the people you meet and the things you do can have wide-ranging influence and even eternal impact.
So, here are a few helpful principles:
One: Don't let yesterday steal too much of today. Live today to the fullest, learn from your mistakes, but don't let regret sap your enthusiasm for tomorrow.
Two: Plan for tomorrow, but live today. While it is a wonderful thing to have something to look forward to, and good stewardship to make plans, set goals, and have dreams, don't become so fixated on the future that you fail to recognize God's presence in your life and world today.
Three: Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is cash, so spend it all, and do so wisely.
Now ... go out there and make it a great day, by his grace and for his glory.