When we are gripped with deadlines, saddled with financial burden, afflicted with paralyzing sickness and wounded with relational problem, we tend to think … after these, things would be better. Or our mind flies back on those happy times and conclude: life was better than before.
It is but part of our human nature that when we are encountering difficulties, we tend to think that “the former days are better than this” or that “tomorrow, things would be better. And so we tend to live for yesterday or tomorrow, not fully giving ourselves for today.
A student harassed with unrelenting academic requirements would muse on the days when the semester is over. A young mother would envision the time when her hyper-active son would be in school, and can have some time for herself. But just like the Egyptians – when they experienced want in the wilderness – we were too easy to complain… “it was better in Egypt.”
By looking back or by looking forward, we are missing the joy and the challenges the present brings. We let our joy slip way in the imagined world of the yesterday and the morrow.
The lesson I want to learn is to appreciate every moment no matter what it brings. Our attitude can make a big difference. How we respond to the vagaries of life can spell the difference between peace and agitation, between joy and sadness, between trust and fear.
Yet, this kind of attitude is empty if not powered by the grace of God in Christ. If we look up to Christ, we can accept and appreciate each moment as God-given and is intended for our good.
We can draw lessons from our mistakes in the past, but we must be careful not to dwell on its ills and sorrows. It will only slow us down. On the other hand, if we pin our hope in the morrow, we might get disappointed, for there is no certainty of its coming.
One author said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that is why it is called present.” Each moment, and each day is what we have. If we make the best use of it, we can certainly face tomorrow with joy in our hearts.