Every day matters. Our daily challenge is to choose what matters most. To be completely honest, that choice has changed for me over the years. I’ve often wrestled with the inclination to lose sight of the value of this moment while straining to predict the next and strategize accordingly. What I’m learning as I enter my senior years is that if we knew what tomorrow held, we’d never realize the potential of today. Grace is now and grace is here; grace is always present tense.
An author that I’m just now getting to know has something helpful to say about this present tense narrative of grace: “To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life” (Barbara Brown Taylor).
As long as my focus strays to the later, I’m slightly less inclined to relish this instant. I need deliverance from frenetic obsession with what is to come, and to embrace instead the breathing and feeling and thinking and seeing and knowing– right now. “Whoever you are, you are human. Wherever you are, you live in the world, which is just waiting for you to notice the holiness in it” (Taylor). There is grace to be had in abundance when I allow myself to detect the weight of God in the mundane and ordinary.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34, NIV)