It’s been such a joy to finally start seeing some of the signs of “normal” popping out after the last several months of the pandemic, almost like the first blooms of spring. School is starting back, football is kicking off this week, one of my favorite restaurants in finally opening for in-person dining, and we are starting to see more and more people gather together freely and without fear. It’s been great getting together, in person, with our midweek small group the last few weeks. There’s just something about living life in the same room instead of through a computer screen.
We had an interesting discussion in our first gathering last week, after missing being together for all these months. Our topic was presuming on tomorrow. We talked about Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:34 to “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And after all that has gone on in 2020, all the people said “Amen!”
We also discussed the words from James’ epistle that we should be careful about making plans for the future, because we have no idea what it holds. James adds, “Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will do this or that.” (James 4:15) Clearly, he meant more than just saying “Lord willing” before we speak of our plans. He was advocating a mindset that avoids presuming on a future that we have no way of predicting.
That idea has surely been brought home to us in 2020. Our group meets upstairs in Building B–in the “upper room”–that also doubles as our college/young adults room. Their C/YA calendar from March is still on the wall, almost like it is frozen in time from when the wheels came off and our pandemic began.
Similarly I found a notebook a few weeks back that I had scribbled out all that we had going on in the church for the spring–a very busy March through May–with everything from a church golf tournament, a family dedication, a membership class, and several Easter weekend activities. But when the COVID quarantine began, everything came to a screeching halt.
It certainly is a reminder of what Jesus said, that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. That is not to say that we shouldn’t plan for the future, and even anticipate a full calendar of ministry. Otherwise, we find ourselves flying by the seat of our pants, unprepared for the ministry to which He has called us. But it is to say that we never know what’s around the corner, and we would all do well to make sure we live our lives to the fullest today.
There’s a sign behind the counter at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants not too far from where we live. It says “Free Margaritas Tomorrow.” I am sure it’s there for a laugh–for whatever day you come back looking for your free drink, it still will be the next day. Tomorrow never comes.
The writer of Hebrews reminded us that we need to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today.'” And in case you missed the memo, every day is called “Today,” so you don’t want to miss your chance to encourage someone. Paul wrote in Ephesians that we need to redeem the time we have now, “making the most of every opportunity.” In other words, you better make the most of what you have today, because you might not have the same opportunity tomorrow.
So let’s not worry about what’s around the corner, but trust God for today, and be faithful where He has us, knowing that He is in control, He has a plan, and He can be trusted. And let’s not miss any of the blessings and opportunities He provides us to love and serve others in His name.
I am so grateful for each of you, and I pray the Lord’s continued protection and blessing on you and your family. And I do hope to see you Sunday….Lord willing.