Back when Sweet Wife and I were expecting our first child, I was hit with the notion that I shouldn’t waste or wish our days away, so I adopted the policy of never saying, “I can’t wait until…” I was telling myself to slow down and enjoy each moment because I knew the moments would fly by and be memories before I could blink.
That policy is being seriously tested at this point in my life.
Work has been extremely stressful this year — the kind of stress that you know puts you into an early coffin — and as the kids get older the stress related to them gets more intense. As I sit here, I know (or at least hope a whole lot) that things at work should be better in several months. I know that (or at least hope a whole lot) that time will allow us to digest certain issues and should be better in a few months. But until then, the temptation is to say, “I can’t wait until January 1st! Man, I know things will be so much better then!”
That may sound good, but there’s a lot of bad in that thought. I need to live in today and make the moments of today count. Sweet Wife and my kids need to me to be connected to today because they have needs and wants that need to be met in the here and now. They don’t need a dad who is checked out until next year.
And guess what? When January gets here, there will be stuff that pops up then too.
Today at just before noon, I’m scheduled to sit down with a business associate and I will have a very tough conversation with him. I have practiced the conversation out and planned in my head how it should go, but the conversation still has to happen and I still have to deal with my associate’s reaction. There’s a chance he’ll buck pretty hard and we’ll be forced to separate permanently. There’s a chance I’ll find out some even worse news than I know. There’s a chance his feelings will get hurt somehow and our relationship will be permanently damaged. To sum it up, there’s a chance this will be a very bad day. It is so tempting to wish, wish, wish this time away.
How does that happen? Well, it get totally distracted with what’s about to happen. No matter where I am, who I’m with or what’s going on, there’s only one thing on mind. I also get short-tempered and I’m ready to hammer into submission whatever situation comes up. I also just want the time to pass and the even to get here, so I usually go to bed way too early and that throws a lot of stuff out of whack. There’s probably some other stuff too and when you add all of this stuff up, I wind up wasting my day. I wind up under using the time God has allocated to me.
So tomorrow is a big day. There’s no telling how it will go. I’m focused on nothing else. I’m wound up tighter than a cheap clock.
What should I do?
Well, this is the time to turn to God’s word. This type of stuff is why we need Scripture. Right now, I near to hear what God says. I need to hear Him say don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will have enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34). I need to hear that I can cast my cares on Him because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). I need to hear God tell me to deny myself daily, to take up my cross and to follow Him (Luke 9:23). There’s obviously a lot more I need to hear, but I think you get my point.
What I need now is a perspective adjustment. I need to fix my eyes upon Jesus and get my mind right. I need to pursue the day looking for how I can honor Christ in this mess and I need to trust that He cares for me and will help me. Ultimately, I need to remember that to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).
OK day. Here we go.