That word, above all others, best described me in my life before personal loss and grief.
I was always full of ideas, always trying new things. Always looking for something more.
And it’s not that I am no longer full of ideas or am now unwilling to try new things, it’s that I am no longer impelled to pursue more than I already have.
The realizations that life here is so fragile, and that I myself am brutally finite in my time and resources, bid me pause. What is the point of it all?
I am not so good at taking life day by day. My mind propels me to consider possibilities months, years, decades into the future. That’s all fine and good if we can confidently foresee ourselves living here on this Earth that far into the future. But the Word calls me into taking a much shorter view:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town, stay there a year, conduct business, and make money.” You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and do this or that.” But you boast about your proud intentions. All such boasting is evil.
Therefore, anyone who knows what is right but fails to do it is guilty of sin.
James 4:13-17 (ISV)
So much for five year plans…
In teaching us to pray, in Matthew 6, Jesus sets us up for a worldview wholly grounded in the now. The Lord’s Prayer has us asking God for our daily bread, and ties this into seeking the completion of the Father’s will here on Earth.
My will might be to live one hundred more years. But that isn’t necessarily God’s will for me. My will might be to amass great fortune and fame, but like in the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21), if my will– my drive— is to amass a wealth of experience or possessions at the cost of pursuing a richness in the things of God, I just might die with nothing to show for my life lived here.
The secret to the riches of God is found in living fully in the every day. A life content to end at any given moment, if it is in accordance with God’s will.
What I am today, where I am today, is where God meets me in His fullness. It is the ground where I find manna — my daily bread– scattered all around me like morning dew, waiting for me to gather.
If I remain so fully aligned with a future that is not destined for me, what will I have? All the drive and willfulness I can muster is but filthy rags if it pushes me towards any end that does not serve my Savior.
And so I wrangle my innate drive for more. I wrestle it into submission to the now, in service of the good that is placed before me today. I surrender to what the day holds for me as I pray, in earnest, Thy will be done.