The Joy of One Day: The Secret of Staying Present
When my kids were little and we didn’t live in a neighborhood, the only way for any of us to have relationships was to schedule play dates and drive places in order to spend time with friends. One of my favorite hang-outs was at the Todd’s. Julie had five kids and was ahead of me in life, not only as a wife mom, but spiritually too. As much as I loved being with her (because she is fun), I liked to watch her. I think I learn best when I am shown.
I watched her squeeze five kids into a small home. I watched her work miracles with a budget. (Her grocery budget was smaller than mine but her family was larger.) I watched her faith in God as He provided money for her to get her car repaired and buy a new refrigerator. I watched her interact with her kids, sew curtains and duvet covers, and I sat at her table.
Ah, that table. It sat right off the kitchen in shared space with the living room. Not only did she serve food and beverages to all who entered, she gathered women around her table for Bible Studies. I loved those studies…moms making room in their lives for Jesus and community with each other while their children interacted with each other nearby.
Julie has moved away. I don’t get to see her any more. But I get to hear from her through her BLOG. This one touched my heart, so I hope it encourages you too. I have been intentional about thanking God for all good things lately (a future post is brewing) and living one day at a time. She muses about the same in her own special way.
Meet my friend, Julie.
(If you would rather read her words on her site today, visit HERE at longandwindingroad.com.)
The Joy of One Day©
When my children were young, every summer my mom and dad rented a large house at the beach. It became a family tradition for 11 years straight. With my 3 siblings and their families, along with mom and dad, we could fill the place up.
In the beginning years, because of my own elation, I found myself telling my children months in advance that we were going. It didn’t take long for me to realize my mistake. Suddenly they were distracted from their day. Young children have no real concept of time. You can’t pack your suitcase in March for a beach trip in July. I learned to wait until weeks before, where they could count down the days and feel their excitement grow.
I watch my grands as they live their lives present, in the moment. They have no thoughts for what will happen tomorrow and they don’t remember what happened yesterday. They have an uncanny ability to live in the moments. They experience such a beautiful place of rest.
Children know the joy of their one day. They give no thought to yesterday or care for tomorrow.
I heard the author say these words, “I have found joy again by being in my one day”. It struck me as I considered what life would look like if I lived that way.
My husband and I have a story. We started out 34 years ago, eyes glazed over, clueless about the vows we had just made. It didn’t take long for us to find ourselves saying and doing things we never thought we’d do. Through the years we have hurt each other. At times it’s hard not to allow old history to follow us into the day. All it takes is a conversation to go awry and suddenly we can be thrown into the reminders of the past. Without warning, history can repeat itself and we can find ourselves stuck in a place we really don’t want to be, saying things we really don’t want to say.
What if we lived in our one day where there is no future and no past? Paul testified that the old is gone and the new had come. We are told that God remembers our sins no more. How would things change if we all lived as if the hard drive of our minds had been wiped clean and the past hurts no longer lingered? What if when those conversations start to rev up we faced them not with the voices of the past but with the voices of today? Who we are today is not who we were yesterday.
To live in the “one day” is to shut down the old voices and leave them all behind. The damage of the past is redeemed for good when it no longer plays an active role in the present.
The “one” day means there is no past and there is no future. There is just the present.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.”
I’ve never been much of one to be affected by the decades rolling by but this year has been different. I will be 60. It hit me a few days back. “I am 10 years away from 70”. The numbers sound ancient to me until I consider Methuselah who lived to be 969. Yet in the world’s mindset somewhere in these next 10 years I will be considered elderly. I will never have as many years on this earth as I have already had. Uncertainties abound if I look towards tomorrow and how we will make it financially. Joy disappears as fear of what could happen tries to force its way in.
But it’s all just imagination because no one but God has my tomorrows. He is the God of wonder and mystery who loves showing up in the most unusual places. Paul reminds me, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen.” Peter reminds me, “With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.”
Yesterday leaves me discouraged and tomorrow leaves me afraid. Today gives me joy because I am able to see that I have all that I need.
I am surrounded by young children on a weekly basis, both in my home and in my vocation. I learn so much from just watching them. They truly live in the moment with unadulterated trust. They don’t give a care about what will happen in the days to come and they don’t keep history books on what has happened in the days before. They simply live in the joy of their one day. I want to live like that.
God does not say, “I was” or “I will be”. He says “I AM.” That’s present tense. He invites me to live as He is, in the one day. It is the life Christ lived on this earth. It is the life He now lives in me.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ” Romans 15:13
Picture Explanation: My phone died this month and I received a new one. Transferring photos was part of the process. Today I shared some classic “blasts from the past” from when my kids and I were hanging around Julie.
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