Bob Tamasy: Immediately: The Present That Offers Extra Than We Think about
I don’t know who created it, but one punster observed: “Every new day is a gift. That’s why they call it the present. “But when we’re young and healthy, it’s easy to take every new day for granted. We make plans weeks, months, even years in advance with the utmost confidence that these plans will be fully implemented.
However, as we get older – especially after health setbacks or simply the fact that our bodies are aging – we find that tomorrow is not guaranteed. This teaches many of us to appreciate the beginning of another day, the chance to wake up and eagerly face the opportunities and challenges of the next 24 hours.
In the past few months, two of my friends have had open heart surgery. Now they are taking part in cardiac rehab programs to help them resume their active lifestyle. Other friends have faced various forms of cancer. Then there are coronavirus survivors. Each of them now understand more clearly than ever that every new day is truly a gift. We couldn’t deserve or deserve it. We just received it.
The question arises, what are we going to do with this gift? How do we use it? Should we try to get every ounce of sensory experience out of every day? Skydiving or hang gliding? Ride the fastest, steepest roller coaster we can find? Are you traveling to exotic locations? Are you spending our money on the glitzy “stuff” we’ve seen advertised? “Grab the enthusiasm” as the old advertising slogan told us?
We find two very different perspectives in the Bible. The Book of Preachers, which most scholars believe was written by King Solomon, offers a rather pessimistic view. For example, the king admitted:
“I didn’t refuse anything my eyes wanted. I did not deny pleasure to my heart…. But when I surveyed everything my hands had done and what I had achieved, it was all meaningless, a chase for the wind; Nothing was won under the sun. ” (Ecclesiastes 2: 10-11).
Pity! For his time at least, he was the richest man in the world, but experienced frustration and futility in pursuit of all the tangible things and experiences the world could offer. Solomon discussed this throughout the book, but ultimately came to a conclusion: “Then I realized that it is good and appropriate for a man to eat and drink and find satisfaction under the sun in the few days of his life has given him – because that is his lot ”(Ecclesiastes 5:18).
However, in the New Testament we find a more optimistic view that focuses on eternity rather than this temporary world in which we exist.
Jesus admonishes his followers: “Do not store treasures for yourselves where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves steal” (Matthew 6:19). If we stop there, he seems to agree with Solomon. The things that grab our attention, the earthly treasures we work so hard to acquire, are disappearing. We don’t see hearses pulling U-Haul trailers.
But then Jesus offers an option and explains that there is a way to invest in our long-term future: “But keep treasure in heaven where moth and rust won’t destroy and where thieves won’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. ”- Matthew 6: 20-21.
We could answer, “That sounds good. But how do we do it? “
Jesus gave us a good starting point for answering a Jewish religious leader’s question: “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?” Without hesitation, he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul whole mind. ” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ ”- Matthew 22: 36-37.
Loving others, God first and then our “neighbors” – whoever the Lord brings into our lives – is a key to meaningful, rewarding lives and a way to ensure we don’t waste the gift of each new day. Ted DeMoss, who I worked with from 1981 until his death in 1997, used to say that when all is said and done there will be only two things left: “the word of God and of men.”
Jim Elliot, a missionary who lost his life while attending in 1956 Operation Auca attempting to evangelize the Huaorani people in Ecuador made a similar observation: “He’s not a fool who gives what he can’t keep in order to gain what he can’t lose.” He also said: “Wherever you are, everyone is there! Live every situation that you believe is God’s will to the limit. “
I hope you woke up this morning and realized that you received a true gift – the gift of a new day. So yeah, definitely, grab the buzz. Do it! But grab your enthusiasm for God and his people.
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Robert J. Tamasy is a seasoned journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored, and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published “Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business at Its Best: Timeless Proverbs Wisdom for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life with a Shepherd’s Heart”. A weekly business meditation he works on, “Monday Manna”, is translated into more than 20 languages and emailed around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is [email protected]