As I was driving to UMHB’s Commencement Ceremony to bid farewell to awesome friends that I have made the past couple of years, I thought, “In two years, it will be me receiving my diploma.” When I started school, I told myself that I hoped it didn’t last me more than four years. I told myself that going a fifth year was just too long and that I wanted to move on with my life as soon as possible. Then I realized something my Freshman year. I realized that by double majoring in History and Political Science, with a minor in Education, there would be no way to finish in four years and I will likely spend a fifth year as an undergrad. This seemed frustrating at first, but after realizing how silly I was being, I realized that was God’s way of saying, “Slow down. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”
Driving to the graduation ceremony, it was only natural for me to imagine myself in two years, receiving my diploma. Then, I thought about what I planned to do for the next decade after that. Go to grad school at Baylor. Work towards a PhD. Start a family. Start a career. I thought about my own future and thought, “In just two years, I will be on the football field getting my diploma, and everyone else will be in the stands.”
Then as I was driving to Belton, several cars passed me even though I was going over the speed limit myself. As I was getting ready to turn left at an intersection, waiting until it was safe to turn, someone honked and honked and honked. I thought, “Are you people really in that big a hurry?”
Then it hit me, “Am I?”
Of course, the week leading up to the end of the semester, I was absolutely in a hurry to get last minute homework done and exams finished, so that I could breathe a huge sigh of relief to be completed until August. I also thought, “Just two more years! Just two more years!”
But honestly, what’s the rush? Why are these people in such a hurry to get somewhere? Why am I in such a hurry to read the next chapter in my life’s story, when I haven’t finished enjoying the current chapter?
It was then, as I was being honked at, that I heard God’s voice telling me, “Don’t lose today’s opportunities, and don’t miss out on today’s experiences because you’re in such a hurry.”
Too often, though, that’s exactly what happens. We become so focused on what’s ahead, that we don’t cherish the blessings we have today. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t plan for the future or imagine where our life will lead. I’m saying that we shouldn’t be in such a rush to go to the next chapter, that we don’t enjoy the one we are currently reading.
There have been plenty of times when I have had required reading for class, and I have periodically stopped, counted how many pages I had left, and thought to myself, “I’m almost done. I’m almost done. 12 more pages, 7 more, 4 more, one more page!” As I would do this, it would sometimes be difficult to focus on the page I was currently reading. I truly believe God is telling us, “Slow down. That page will get here soon enough. Enjoy the page you’re currently reading. Enjoy the blessings and opportunities I have placed in your life for today.”
I challenge readers, myself included, to enjoy the opportunities you have today. Tomorrow, next week, next year, etc. will get here soon enough, but don’t lose the moments you can experience today. Out there, somewhere, there is someone who needs to hear the Gospel. Out there, there is someone who needs some comfort, some joy, someone to talk to. If you spend life in a frantic rush to get to the next chapter, you might miss out on those opportunities to live life with the people around you, to share the love of Christ with those people. You might miss the opportunity to grow in relationship with others and with God if you don’t enjoy today’s moments.
Before you know it, that chapter you’re looking forward to will get here and when it does, it will seem like life has gone by way too fast. Don’t let it go by so fast that you don’t cherish today’s blessings.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV) tells us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
We can plan for our future, and we can imagine what life will bring, but we must not allow ourselves to become worried about that future, about that next chapter. Tomorrow will get here soon enough, let us not lose focus on today.
Psalm 118:24 (TLB) says, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Every day is a gift from God. Let us not worry so much about what lies ahead that we don’t cherish the present gifts and opportunities that the Lord has bestowed upon us. Let us rejoice and be glad that today is a day of opportunities!
It can be easy to speed through life, to go 70 mph when we should go 60, to count down the pages before we are finished with the current chapter, but let’s strive to enjoy today. Tomorrow will be here before you know it. So, whether you are awaiting that new job to start soon, that semester to finish, that mission trip to get here, don’t take for granted the opportunities God has for you to experience today.
So slow down! God has a speed limit too!
New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 11 May. 2015.
The Living Bible. Bible Gateway. Web. 11 May. 2015.
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