Look to this day!Years ago — May 21, 1961 to be exact — I ran across an article by Edward Streeter, a retired New York banker, in This Week magazine. In the article he quoted the following poem:
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
I clipped and saved it and over the years it has been an unending source of inspiration and help, a constant reminder that today is the only day that any of us have.
Yesterday with its successes and failures, joys and sorrows is past. It is beyond our influence and control. We cannot undo a thing we have done or call back a single word we’ve spoken. No amount of worry, wishing or money can bring back yesterday or change it. We can implore with the poet, “Backward, turn backward, O time in your flight,” but it is to no avail. Yesterday is gone forever.
And tomorrow? Tomorrow is a thing of the future. Until it arrives we have no control or influence over it. Tomorrow will be a new day. We can plan for it, make provision for it, but we should never worry about it.
It has been my observation that most of the things I worried about yesterday never happened. Hasn’t that been your experience, too?
Jesus gave us sound advice when he said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”
Our God is a great God on whom we can depend what e’er betide. Because he clothes the grass of the field and feeds birds of the air, we can trust him to care for us out into all of our tomorrows.
Today is our day, the only day we have. And because it is the only day we have, we dare not waste it. It is a day of opportunity, a day to make choices.
We can make someone happy or make someone sad; we can do evil or do good; look for flowers or see only weeds.
We can give the world a smile or give it a frown, lift someone up or shove someone down. It is all up to you and me.
Look to this day!
Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he served as senior minister for 23 years. He writes a column for several newspapers.