One of my new favorite things to do is wake up early on a beautiful morning and have my morning coffee on the back patio, watching the sun come up through the trees and over the hills. With all of the noise in this life, it is great to have those few moments – just me, my coffee, and the birds assembling for their morning song. The last time I shared, I spoke about the need to take that leap of faith and pursue those things that we are quick to talk ourselves out of. And as I sit here, enjoying my cup of coffee, sharing my heart with you again, I implore you to look forward to something beyond the rising of the sun.
So many that I know (sometimes me, too!) look forward to tomorrow – simply for the sake of tomorrow. They live for Fridays and then on the weekends, they bemoan the fact that those two days were not granted permanent residency. Or, on days designed for rest, they are already filling their schedules, and focusing on their tomorrows – simply because it is not today. I have often found myself in this endless cycle. Some of you know very well what I am talking about. We get excited about something. We don’t even need to set our alarms to get up and go for the day! Then, over time, perhaps after our unrealistic expectations were not met, we move a little slower, and begin searching for the “next thing,” and sit idly by awaiting the next sunrise. What a waste of the life God has given to you and me!
This past week, I sat down and sent some future graduates congratulation cards. I had the privilege of having these kids twice (5th grade and then when I moved to teach 8th grade). As I reflected over the 300+ days I interacted with them, I was reminded of something I had shared with them – “Regardless of our choice or preferences, we are now part of each other’s lives.” Even if for a short season of time, our personalities, our success and failures, impact others. We learn and grow from one another. And yes, we have disagreements and moments of separation, when hearts and lives have been deeply wounded. This, my friend, is the investment of life. This is what we do long after the sun has come up. We are to seek those opportunities to look beyond our schedule for the day and find the available pockets of time, when those who share the same airspace and soil, know through our actions and words that we value their existence.
Do I ever longingly await “tomorrow”? You bet! Particularly after a very long “today”! But let’s be quick to catch ourselves when those very real feelings creep in and seek to steal our joy and our calling. I enjoy a beautiful sunrise, but I sit on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the opportunities for today. How can I positively impact someone today? How can I pour into the lives of those around me? Those questions have far greater value than asking how many hours are left in your day. Awaiting the sun rise for the sake alone of a new day is the missed blessing of how we can serve those around us and how we can live out our appreciation of the precious gift of life…even if for just one more day.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”