When Prince William married Kate Middleton, a new anthem was especially written for the royal wedding. It was composed by John Rutter based on the Bible text “This is the day the Lord has made” (Psalm 118:24). This was a beautiful choral music piece, but the key thought here is not just reserved for a wedding. The truth applies to each day. How do you feel about today?
How many of us rush blindly through our days, fall into bed exhausted, and wake up the next morning to do it all over again? We know that some days don’t go well. We came back from holiday and as I opened the garage door to get in my car, the back tyre was flat. Now, that’s not a big problem—but it was annoying.
For many of us, our lives are composed of millions of meaningless moments, some annoying and frustrating, all strung together—perhaps if you’re lucky with a sprinkling of sacred moments mixed in.
I’m sure you can think of a few sacred moments in your own life. Maybe your marriage, the birth of your children, or perhaps a heartfelt moment of connection with a good friend. These are the moments when we are consumed with joy and awe. At these moments, we are fully present in the moment. We aren’t worrying about tomorrow, or trying to rush through the experience to get to the next. We are in the now, and the now is amazing. Can you think of times like that?
However, why do we wait for major events to honour these sacred moments? Why can’t every day be sacred? Every moment?
Rejoice In Today
Each moment is sacred—if we decide to make it that way. The Bible says in Psalm 118:24 (ESV), “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”.
I stated above that our lives are filled with meaningless moments, but those moments are meaningless only because we don’t honour them or see them as linked with God. We are hurrying along, focused on other things, not stopping to notice them at all. They come and go without so much as an acknowledgement from us. It’s easy to say, Yes, I believe that verse from the Bible, but it’s another thing to put it into practice. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find anything good about today, because of the way we feel.
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Can you say, Today is the best day of my life? I think many struggle with this. We get caught up in the things of life, worries, problems, that we can’t see our Heavenly Father in the midst of today. Our problem is that we take each day for granted. A philosopher once said, Living requires practice, like playing the violin.
But as Christian author Max Lucado points out, this verse says, “Let us rejoice and be glad IN it,” not after it or in spite of it. That would make life a lot easier. Many of us would probably prefer the verse to say, This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad when it’s over. But no, says Lucado: This verse means rejoice in every day—divorce days, final-exam days, surgery days, tax days, work days. Every day is worthy of our joy.
The paradox is that those no-good days are the days when we need God most, yet it seems those days are when God seems furthest away. Or is it that we are furthest away from God? If we don’t make it a practice of spending time with God and thanking God on all the days, then we may struggle to feel God’s presence when we need it most. Christian journalist Malcolm Muggeridge says it this way: “Every happening great and small is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”
Make Every Day Count
Can we somehow grasp that in our ordinary days? God shows up to say, I am right here. Slow down. Take a breath. Be still and know that I am God. Have a look at Psalm 68:19 (CEV): “We praise you, Lord God! You treat us with kindness day after day…” Let’s do our best to make every day of our life really count for something—see every day as a special and gracious gift from God.
First, we can make the most of each day by being sensitive to what’s happening around us. Several decades ago, when small-group experiences became popular, many shared in what was called ‘sensitivity walks’. The exercise called for participants to go for a brief walk and to make a mental list of all the sights, sounds and smells that became apparent during the walk.
Persons then returned to the group to talk about the experience. For some it was a fascinating experience. Many confessed that some of the most precious expressions in life, such as the beauty of wild flowers, or the chirping of birds, had long been overlooked. Perhaps it would do each of us good to take a sensitivity walk every day so we might get in touch with the wonders of God’s world. A good prayer to begin each day would be: Lord, open my eyes and ears that I may truly see and hear so as to respond in faith to the joys the opportunities each new day brings.
Second, we can make the most of each day by doing something special for someone else. We live in such a self-centred world! Sometimes we get life’s priorities confused. It was Jesus who helps keep in focus what is really important. That’s why he said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Life’s priorities centre in how we treat others. What is really important is how caring, self-giving (agape) love finds expression in our lives.
If we are really interested in discovering what life can become and what God intended through us in Christ, we must find answers to questions like these:
- How can I make a difference?
- What contribution can I make?
- What can I do for someone else today?