“Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 HCSB)
Recently, I’ve found myself striving more often to be intentional about living for today as if tomorrow doesn’t exist. This doesn’t mean that I don’t make plans and set goals for the future, because I do. Rather it means that I choose not to spend all of my time getting caught up on whether my plans and goals for the future will get accomplished. Ultimately, having this mindset has allowed me to accomplish the very things I set to accomplish because it allows me to focus on what I can do today to help me become one step closer to attaining my goals in the future. It allows me to focus on why it’s important not to take life and the time we’re given for granted because as we have seen so many times this year and last year, life is like a vapor.
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-14 NIV)
Even though this should drive our desire to give our all every day, it’s important to remember that sometimes it’s not possible to get everything done in one day. As a result, this is where we should extend grace to ourselves, in the same way God extends grace to us. You might ask, what is grace? Grace is the equivalence of favor, something that is given freely even when we don’t deserve it. In the context of completing all of our daily tasks, grace is a way of taking it easy on ourselves instead of beating ourselves up for everything we said we would do, but didn’t get a chance to do. Showing ourselves grace can also appear in the form of rest, and it’s important to remember that rest doesn’t equal laziness and striving to create a healthy balance between work and rest will lead to a more productive life. Even Jesus made time for himself and his disciples to rest when He walked the earth performing miracles and teaching the crowds.
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:30-31 NIV)
As we strive to create a healthy balance between work and rest, it is important for us to grow stronger daily in the practice of self discipline, which is listed as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and is vital for a life well lived. I believe each day should be lived as if it’s a blank canvas because every day we wake up, we start with a clean slate, choosing what picture we’ll paint for the day. Let’s strive to be present today because we have no idea what tomorrow holds.