Did you ever hear someone say, “One day I will do this, one day I will go there, one day I will (fill in the blank)?” Many times, we get so caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities we must uphold that we lose sight of the fact that we need to cherish each and every moment. In this life, we have no guarantees of tomorrow. Because of this fact, we need to live in the moment. If we want to vacation with our family, we need to do it. If we want to live out a lifelong dream of purchasing a motorcycle, boat, or mountain cabin, we need to make it happen. And if we want to reconcile any differences we may have with our children or other loved ones, we need to mend the broken fences and nurture these relationships, as opposed to neglecting them. In this world, we cannot put off until tomorrow what we could do today. Why? Because we never know how many tomorrows may remain.
Nearly three years ago, I remember talking to my Mom about my future wedding day. We discussed all of the details in depth, from the tiered wedding cake, complete with a fountain in the middle, to a garden of daisies and roses sprinkled throughout the sanctuary. She was to be my Matron of Honor. Everything was going to be perfect. The only thing I had to do was wait for that special someone to come into my life, in God’s timing. I knew that “one day” my Mom and I would enjoy sharing my special day together, along with my Dad and new husband. Little did I know that God had other plans.
Since my Mom went to be with the Lord, I have often talked to my Dad and a couple of close friends about my future wedding day. At first, I wondered how I could have a wedding without a Mother of the Bride…and without my Matron of Honor. Since this time, God has shown me that He has a dream for my life. No matter what trials come, He is in control. While I do not understand His plan, I know that He will remain faithful. And He even cares about my wedding day. In His infinite goodness, He will provide a Matron of Honor and perhaps, a Mother-in-Law of the Bride or other dear friend with whom I can share this special day. And of course, I am prayerfully trusting God to send that special someone as well! In spite of the changes that have taken place in my life, I know that “one day” my special day will take place, according to God’s dream for me, not my own.
Often times, we seem to forget that God has a plan for our lives. We may also ignore the fact that our steps are ordered by the Lord. Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Notice that God gives us the freedom to plan what we will do along life’s journey. Yet, you cannot omit the second part of the scripture. God has established our steps. Our steps have been planned out, before we were even born. God knows what we should do and when we should do it. He knows if we will do His will, or follow a treacherous path of our own choosing. He also knows when we will walk our very last step on this earth.
If you knew that you only had one week left to live on this earth, would you live life differently? Would you go out and buy things you’ve always wanted, but have put off purchasing? Would you travel more in seven days than you ever have in your entire life? Would you say “I love you” more often? What would really you do? Take a moment to contemplate the honest answer to this question. Now, think about the way you currently live your life. Do you spend your money wisely? Or do you either waste it on frivolous things or pinch every penny, never to enjoy a luxury now and then? Do you cherish each moment? Or do you simply go through the motions of life? Do you cherish time with your family? Or do you take them for granted, spending more time with your coworkers, television, or computer?
On countless occasions, I have heard someone who is nearing retirement say, “One day, when I retire, I will go on a cruise.” Or they may say, “One day, I will rent a motor home and take a road trip out west.” Or “One day, I will go visit my grandchildren.” Sadly, I have also seen some of these same individuals develop physical ailments before they retired. Often times, their health prevented them from experiencing the dreams they had waited their entire life to fulfill. One dear friend had many dreams, yet she had a heart attack a short time before retirement. As I sat at her memorial service, I recalled the many things she had planned to do with her husband, children, and grandchildren. For this sweet friend, “one day” never came.
King Solomon was a very wise individual who gives us advice on enjoying life. He wrote, “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV). This scripture tells us that even amid the work we must complete in life, we will have joy simply by enjoying life. He also gives us some insight as to the varying number of days or years we each have on this earth. He states, “However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all” (Ecclesiastes 11:8 NIV). Regardless of what things must be done, we need to realize that our days are numbered. While we do not know how many days of our life remain, we should live each one as though it truly matters.
In this day and age, I know that times are hard. I know the economy is suffering. Still, I have seen firsthand that life has no guarantees. You may save up money to do something or go somewhere “one day,” and that day may never come. I Timothy 6:17 (NIV) says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” Don’t wait until you retire, or strike it rich, to do the things you want to do with your family and friends “one day.” Instead, put your hope in God, and He will provide a way for you to experience the enjoyment of life in the here and now.
Personally, I know that our lives truly are but a vapor, as we read in God’s Word. James 4:14 (NIV) states, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Our lives on this earth are only temporary. There is no guarantee of tomorrow, and we need to ensure that we do not worry about “one day,” but instead cherish today. I am so grateful to God for giving my Mom, Dad, and I the opportunity to travel and enjoy each other’s company as much as we did. I would be even more brokenhearted if I was sitting here today, wishing that “one day” had ever come. Neither my Dad nor I regret any trip we ever took, even if it caused a financial hardship. And we continue to travel, as much as we can and often as we can. Why? Because we can tell you firsthand that waiting until “one day” may be too late.
In Christ’s Love,