Just For Today 


There are three days—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The population of the world is divided between these three days. Some are living in the present, some in the past, and some in the future. Where we are living with respect to time has a great influence upon our lives. Perhaps we do not know just where we are living. It might pay us to make a careful examination of our lives and see whether the past, the present, or the future is bulking most largely in our life.

  Those who are living in yesterday are living on memories. Yesterday is gone forever. We can never recall it. I once knew a home where the wife had died. I visited it a year or so after her death. It was a gloomy place. The husband was a gloomy man. He had tried to leave everything in the home as nearly as possible as his wife had left it. The musical instrument had been untouched. This man was living in the past. All the brightness, joy, love, and happiness came from the past. The present meant nothing to him. The future held no hope. On the journey of life he was walking backward. His gaze was ever behind him.

  There are many like this man. Their circumstances may be different, but they are facing the past. Their joys are the memory of past joys. The sorrow of past troubles, mistreatments, losses, failures, and sins, shroud their lives in gloom. Why should we keep these things ever present with us? Bring not the cares of the past, its regrets, sorrows, or anything from it that can cast a gloom upon our today, into the lives we are now living. Yesterday is only a memory. Let us carefully cover its scars. Let us not exhibit them to the world. Let us not be ever looking upon them and thinking over them. Paul's example is a good one to follow, Forgetting that which is behind I press forward." We should let yesterday be yesterday. Someone has said,, "The tears of yesterday are like passing shower. After the shower should come sunshine. After yesterday's troubles should come forgetting. Yesterday's joys should be succeeded by the joys of today. Let us not live in yesterday. Today is too full of opportunity. It is heavily laden with good things. Let us dry the tears of yesterday. Let us turn to today.

  There are other people who live in tomorrow. Their joys are the joys of anticipation, not of realization. True, anticipation has its real joys, but we should not picture a tomorrow so bright that it obscures today. We should not exalt tomorrow so much that today loses its meaning. The hopes of tomorrow, the bright pictures we paint, are not reality. We know not whether they ever shall be. Sometimes people cannot enjoy the things of today because of their forebodings for tomorrow. Instead of filling the future with bright anticipations, they fill it with a thousand ghostly fears. They cross their bridges before they get to them and because they are ever looking at the bridges their imagination pictures before them they cannot see the beauties beside the roadway they are traveling.

  For them the flowers beside them bloom in vain. The songs of the birds are not heard. The beautiful prospects on each side of their way are lost. The bridge ahead is what they see. Their attention is so focused on it that they have no eyes or ears for today. A writer said, "I am the champion bridge crosser. I not only cross them but I help build them." He has many relatives today scattered all over the world. They are in the same business. The fears of tomorrow are a blight on many lives.

  Jesus, who understood life better than anyone else, said, "Take therefore no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." His meaning is—do not live in tomorrow, do not borrow trouble. Live tomorrow when you get to it. Live in today. We know not what tomorrow shall bring forth. When it comes it will take thought for itself. There will be time enough to meet its problems, to overcome its difficulties, to fight its battles, and to rejoice in its victories, when we have reached it. Let us not neglect today for tomorrow.

  Whittier says,

  "No longer forward or behind I look in hope or fear, But grateful take the good I find— The best of now and here."

  Our lives are wholly made of todays. Let us live in the time that is ours; make the best of it while we may. Let us enjoy its joys and do its work. Let us live to the full today, giving to the past and to the future only what is justly theirs and only what will profit us in the giving.

  It is important that we properly meet the things that come. Someone has said, "Tomorrow we shall smile over today's worries; so why not begin today?" This is an excellent philosophy and well worth consideration.. If adopted it will be a profitable rule of life us.

  If we were given now the strength and grace we shall need tomorrow we could not use it. It would profit us nothing. If we are strong enough for today tomorrow seed give us no concern. We shall be strong enough for it when it comes. Sufficient for today is God's way of giving. Suppose you try using today the strength and grace you had yesterday. Does it avail you anything? Then do not look for tomorrow's grace today, for if you had it today you could not use it either tomorrow or today.

  We should not attempt to solve all the future's problems now nor to see our way entirely clear before us. Face the things that are right at hand. Sometimes the difficulties of today have a way of projecting themselves into the future so that when we look forward to it we feel we never can bear it.

  Perhaps a little more of my own experience may be helpful to others. When I was forced to take my bed my sufferings were very great. These continued month after month. After several months I was one day lying thinking. The future began to loom up before me so dark, so discouraging, so hopeless, that I felt I never could face it. I asked myself, "How can I endure it?" I was appalled by the prospect. While I was in this melancholy state it seemed the Spirit of God drew near and whispered to me, "You do not have to live tomorrow now. You do not need to bear tomorrow's pain or suffering now. God knows what you can bear. He will not let more come upon you than you can bear. But live today, not the days that are before you."

  I said within myself, "Yes, God knows what I can bear. He will not let that come which is too great for me. I will live today. I can bear this today. I will not think of tomorrow." And so again and again I said to myself, "I can bear it today." This attitude was a great help to me, and the sense of God watching over my life became much more real.

  Yes, dear soul, you can bear it today. Whatever your trouble, whatever your sorrow, whatever your perplexity, you will find a way of getting through today. When tomorrow comes there will be a way for tomorrow. Not long ago I was reading the hymn, "Lead Kindly Light." I was very deeply impressed by some things contained in it. The author says, "I do not ask to see the distant scenes: One step enough for me." He had come to live in today. But was this a natural characteristic? By no means. He continues,

"I was not ever thus—
I loved to choose and see my path."

  How human he was. How like the rest of us! But he learned sufficiently the wisdom of living in today, until he could say, "One step enough for me." In confidence he closes:

"So long thy power hath blessed me,
Sure it still will lead me on
O'er moor and fen,
O'er crag and torrent till
The night is gone."  

  Today has enough for us to bear, enough for us to conquer, enough work for us to do. But we shall be sufficient for it. Many of our troubles of today will pass with today. We need not carry them into the future. We can meet our troubles of today as Abraham Lincoln met his, "Lincoln even when assailed by such anxieties and griefs as you never will know used to say, 'And this too will pass."'

  Yes, today will pass and tomorrow will come and when tomorrow comes we shall have tomorrow's strength for its needs. Let us live in today, in the strength that God gives, and not permit the shadows of yesterday nor forebodings for tomorrow to hide the sunshine and beauty and gladness that come from trust and obedience in today.



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