How much of your life do you spend thinking about the future or replaying events from the past? If you’re like most of us, the answer is “ a lot.”
In fact, it’s easy to spend so much time looking ahead or behind that you miss the gift that is “TODAY.”
Our lives are like strands of pearls…all different lengths…but made up of lots of individual pearls called “today.” I’ve got 21,496 pearls in my necklace today. How about you? (Here’s a calculator to help you figure it out.)
None of knows what the future holds. Just lose one friend to a massive heart attack or car accident, and you will suddenly realize the fragility of life.
Carpe Diem looks good on a paperweight…but how do we live it out? How do we seize the gift of this day and life it fully and well?
Here are a few keys to making each day count:
-Embrace each new day as a gift. It’s a day that you will never have again. If you view the hours in each day as precious and irreplaceable, you will undoubtedly handle your time differently. Imagine that you are holding a priceless treasure in your hands. That’s what this day is. Live it well.
-Be intentional. Work on the important, not just the urgent. How many of us spin through each day in “react mode?” Putting out fires or reacting to the needs of others? Before you go to bed at night, spend a few minutes thinking about the most important thing you need to accomplish tomorrow. Then, work on that first. No, you may not finish. But you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you worked on what mattered most.
-Plan, but not in cement. Be flexible. Are you so focused on checking off the boxes on your to-do list that you’re unavailable to respond to the needs of others? Certainly, it’s important to use your day well. But an interruption could well be a divine appointment.
-Keep your eyes open. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? (Luke 10:25-37) A man was robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. Two “religious” people crossed to the other side of the road to avoid helping the man because they were on their way to something “more important” or didn’t want to be bothered. But the Samaritan stopped to care for the man. He followed the command to “Love you neighbor as yourself.” Who do you want to be?
-Learn something new. Every day. Maybe it’s one word that you add to your vocabulary. Maybe you memorize a verse of Scripture. Read an article about a new subject. But continue to grow and flourish throughout your life. You’re never too old to learn something new.
-Don’t forget to laugh! (Especially at yourself.) It’s good for the soul, good for your health, and good for the community in which you live.
“Today is a gift…that’s why it’s called ‘the present.’”
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