Tag Archives: today

“One Day at a Time”

Because I was unexpectedly called out of town for a period of time, I will not be producing new blogs for the next couple of weeks. But rather than offer nothing I will be posting some favorite inspirational pieces that continue to speak powerfully to me. I pray they will speak powerfully to you as well.  The first is written by one of my favorite inspirational poets.

One day at a time, with its failures and fears,
With its hurts and mistakes, with its weakness and tears,
With its portion of pain and its burden of care;
One day at a time we must meet and must bear.

One day at a time to be patient and strong;
To be calm under trial and sweet under wrong;
Then its toiling shall pass and its sorrow shall cease;
It shall darken and die, and the night shall bring peace.

One day at a time – but the day is so long,
And the heart is not brave and the soul is not strong,
O Thou pitiful Christ, be Thou near all the way;
Give courage and patience and strength for the day.

Swift cometh His answer, so clear and so sweet;
‘Yea, I will be with thee; thy troubles to meet;
I will not forget thee, nor fail thee, nor grieve;
I will not forsake thee; I will never leave.’

Not yesterday’s load we are called on to bear,
Nor the morrow’s uncertain and shadowy care;
Why should we look forward or back with dismay?
Our needs, as our mercies, are but for the day.

One day at a time, and the day is His day;
He hath numbered its hours, though they haste or delay.
His grace is sufficient; we walk not alone;
As the day, so the strength that He giveth His own. (1)

(1) Annie Johnson Flint

Carpe Diem Revisited

Again this year I have been struck by the magnificent beauty of our Hibiscus flowers. We have three bushes. Their flowers are amazing. They don’t bloom until later in the summer but when they do, they’re loaded – and they are gorgeous. They are big and colorful. They shine. We have 3 varieties – pink, deep red (my favorite), and white. I often go out just to stand in awe of their beauty. We even take some pictures for posterity.


Yet it’s hard to figure – in spite of all this beauty, they shine for just one day and then fold up and wither away. I mean, why wouldn’t God design such a marvelous flower to bloom brightly for a much longer period of time? To me that makes great sense. I can’t say it’s a waste because for that one day, it adds tremendous beauty to God’s creation. And perhaps that’s the point – could God be using the Hibiscus to remind us daily that it‘s today that counts? Could He be saying “When the day dawns, shine?”

I’ve thought about that a lot this week, because the Bible underscores the idea. Consider James 4:13-16 (GNB). “Now listen to me, you that say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.’ You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. What you should say is this: ‘If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.’” That’s pretty straight forward, isn’t it? Today is what counts. Why? Because tomorrow is not promised. Like the Hibiscus, all we know is that we have today to shine. So “When the day dawns, shine.”

I used to think that dwelling on the thought that tomorrow is not promised was too morbid. But i’ve become wiser. Think of it this way. Every today you’re blessed to wake and rise, immediately open up to receive Christ’s light. Then determine to let the beauty of the Lord shine through you today. Add beauty to God’s creation today. Live such that someone stands in awe of the Lord’s beauty in you today. This is the way to carpe diem – seize the day! This is the way to make today count. This is the way to make every day count. This is the way to peaceful night time rest. This is the way to receive the peace of God that passes all understanding and that will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. This is the way to light the path for those coming out of darkness so they can meet Jesus. This is the way to lighten the burdens of others so they can walk the path to Him. This is the way to let your light shine.

You don’t know what your life tomorrow will be – so carpe diem. “When the day dawns, shine.”

It’s All About the Numbers

I admit it at the outset – I am a big fan of the Michigan Wolverines. But I write today not so much but as a fan as an observer of life. You have probably heard the moving, emotional, inspirational story of the plane crash that preceded their current run through the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. The news has been filled with accounts of how the coaches, players and their families have been deeply impacted by the crash.

It’s not surprising that for all of them, life now has a different, or at least sharper focus. As I listened to and read these accounts my mind recalled Psalm 90:12 – “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

It would be nice to know the number of our days – or would it? Would it make a difference if you knew the number of your days? How would it change your life? If you knew for certain that you had 30,000 days, what impact would it have on how you live this day? If you knew for certain that you had 30 days, what impact would it have on how you live this day? My guess is knowing the number of days we have impacts how we spend our time today. It really is all about the numbers. The more days we know we have the less likely we are to focus on the really essential things of life today.

The late Zig Ziglar liked to talk about how much we accomplish on the days immediately preceding vacation. We know time is short and certain things have to be done – so we exercise great discipline and accomplish a tremendous amount of essential work in those days – much more than normal. His point was that we should treat every day as the day before vacation and accomplish much more than we currently do.

Isn’t that really the point of the Psalmist? Did he really want to know the number of his days? Or was he pointing out the benefit of not knowing? If we do not know how many days we have we are much more prone to make today count – to focus more clearly on the really essential things of life. That’s why I like the Contemporary English Version of Psalm 90:12 – “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” It’s really not about the numbers, is it? It’s really about how serious we are about making each day count.

Here’s what we know for sure. We do not know the number of our days and we do not determine the number of our days. Therefore each day is a gift of grace. As the Amplified Version states it, “Lord, let me know my [life’s] end And [to appreciate] the extent of my days…” It really doesn’t matter if we don’t know how many days we have – we have today. Value it as a blessing; live it with gratitude; fill it with purpose. As the Gaithers sang years ago:

Hold tight to the sound of the music of living,
Happy songs from the laughter of children at play;
Hold my hand as we run through the sweet fragrant meadows,
Making mem’ries of what was today.

Tiny voice that I hear is my little girl calling,
For Daddy to hear just what she has to say;
And my little son running there by the hillside,
May never be quite like today.

Tender words, gentle touch and a good cup of coffee,
And someone that loves me and wants me to stay;
Hold them near while they’re here and don’t wait for tomorrow,
To look back and wish for today.

Take the blue of the sky and the green of the forest,
And the gold and the brown of the freshly mown hay;
Add the pale shades of spring and the circus of autumn,
And weave you a lovely today.

Chorus: We have this moment to hold in our hands
and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand;
Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come,
But we have this moment today.

Plane Crash Photo from:  http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2017/03/details_and_descriptions_of_mi.html