Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

March 26, 2018 at 10:53 pm 2 comments

Bulletin Board
My office bulletin board hosts photos of happy people celebrating joyful occasions. It also displays several snippets of wisdom:

•Act as if it were impossible to fail.
•Pray First!
•Philippians 4:6-8 (“Be anxious for nothing . . . whatever things are true . . . noble . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . of good report . . . meditate on these things.”)

These tend to be fairly effective reminders, since they are right there—in my face each morning—as I settle in at my desk. Based on what feels like a pressing need for focus, I may soon tack up a few more helpful prompts.

In her book 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life, Joyce Meyer devotes two sequential chapters to “Don’t Worry about Tomorrow” and “Let Go of What Lies Behind.” If I follow her advice, that leaves me smack dab in the middle of today. I gave this obvious conclusion considerable thought and ended up feeling more lost than found.

Like many of us, I worry. I know I should turn it all over. That I should trust the Lord to sustain me through the future—fog, thunderstorm, or sunshine. And I know the only thing worrying accomplishes is to distract me from those things I can do something about. Ditto for my habit of revisiting past events.

So, why is the simple act of living fully in today’s possibilities so difficult for some of us?

Ms. Meyer revisits this subject in Chapter 74: “Tackle Each Day as It Comes.” Here, she quotes Sir William Osler, “Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day’s work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your wildest ambition.” And Acts 25:16, “Therefore I always . . . discipline myself to have a clear conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.”

I thwack myself on the forehead. Well, duh.

Of course it offends God when we waste the coin of life or squander our emotions. Maybe I can’t regulate each little worry that creeps into my mind, or every thought that wanders to the “should haves” of my past. But I can certainly shoo away unproductive musings the second I become aware of them.

This leaves me with a new perspective. I can waste time and energy nursing unfounded fears for the future or punishing myself with remorse over missed opportunities I can never recapture. Or I can adopt as a realistic goal the daily discipline of mind and body, with those chapter 74 quotes in mind.

Reasoning with myself hasn’t effectively motivated me. But an awareness that I disappoint my Creator, this lights a fire in my belly.

Another compelling incentive is a more peaceful heart and mind. With God’s guidance and my commitment to ushering out unproductive thoughts, maybe I can avoid looking back on today and wishing I’d spent more time doing and less time stewing.

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Now there’s a quaint saying to post on my bulletin board. What does your office wall look like?

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An Unblessed Day??

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Craig Ellestad  |  March 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Another good writing to put life in perspective. Love the saying More time doing & less stewing. I can definitely apply this to my life.

    Reply
  • 2. Keith  |  March 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Too bad I can’t post a picture… but immediately above my roll top desk I have 2 of the 4 Rockwell Freedom posters, a 1905 Edison Gem cylinder record player, a 1962 Zenith AM/FM Stereo radio, a couple of 1930s Aladdin kerosene lamps, and a bevy of old glassware junk…

    Reply

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Recipe. According to Encarta, "a list of ingredients and instructions for making something." The thesaurus offers the alternate terms, "formula, guidelines, directions, steps, technique."

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