How much money do you make each year?
How many Twitter followers do you have?
How many people work for you?
We live in a world that is obsessed with numbers. In my job, a question that I often get asked is, how many students are in your ministry? We love numbers, especially the biggest ones. We tend to equate bigger with better, and therefore aspire to have the highest numbers possible. After all, that’s where we achieve our sense of value.
Because we live in a world that is obsessed with quantity, the value of one is often understated.
I was reminded of this simple truth this morning as I looked at my calendar for the week. Literally, I live my life by iCalendar: each event has a slot, and my daily schedules are even color-coded (I expect some judgment here). Days and weeks can easily run together, highlighted by deadlines, trips, retreats, and special Sundays, with an ample dose of mundane and routine mixed throughout.
This is a tragedy, because it robs each day of its own beauty and uniqueness.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of not always being passionate about the present. I struggle to live life in the moment. Although I may live today, I am preparing for tomorrow (I’ve always been a planner). This is not wrong in itself, but it can quickly become destructive.
My hope for myself (and for anybody who may choose to read this), is that we will not let tomorrow (or yesterday) ruin today. Time is a non-renewable resource, a costly sacrifice to make. When we wish away time, wishing for the past or eyeing the future, we rob ourselves of a once-in-a-lifetime experience to live in the moment that we may never get back.
And these simple moments have a lot to offer. For me, it’s an opportunity to play fetch with my dog in the backyard, or sit next to my wife and laugh as she talks about her day. It’s sitting on the porch taking in a warm Texas day (we have a lot of those here). It’s exploring a new hobby. It’s taking time to reflect on how richly I am blessed. It’s so much more, given to us directly by God to be used for his glory and our enjoyment.
As the old cliche says, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the ‘present’.”
What a wonderful blessing and reflection of God’s goodness.