Now thats a challenge, is it not? Either we are regretting the past, or frantically racing toward the future, with little time or inclination of savoring the glorious now. We cant. Theres too much to do. So we squander the moment for the illusive tomorrow that never arrives.
Jesus instructed us, "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matt. 6:34 Msg.)
But what does that look like? How do I do it? A prayerful look at Lina Sandells lovely hymn Day By Day may give us insight into how this is doable:
Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Fathers wise bestowment, Ive no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me, He whose name is Counselor and Power.
The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid;
As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure, this the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in every tribulation so to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faiths sweet consolation offered me within Thy holy word.
Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting, eer to take, as from a fathers hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting, till I reach the promised land.
Richard of Chichesters prayer may also assist us here: Day by day, O Lord, three things I pray:
To see Thee more clearly: Lord, it is your supreme desire to reveal your glory to me. Is there any attitude or action I am taking that is clouding my vision of you? Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. (II Cor. 3:16-18 NLT)
To love Thee more dearly: Lord, loving you is the product of unrestrained surrender and obedience to your word and will. Is there any area of my life where I am refusing to relinquish control? Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me (Jn. 14:21a)
To follow Thee more nearly: Lord, am I like Peter who lingered at a distance when he denied you? Have I allowed any compromise to dampen my fervor to follow you? "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desertYet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. (Jer. 2:2b; Rev. 2:4)