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.”