Is Tomorrow Distracting You From Today?
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” Luke 12:22
My friend Wayne Pederson used to sign his letters and e-mails with the words, “Focus forward!” No more. He’s changed the complimentary close to read, “Seize Today!” He discovered that when he was always focused forward, pushing to reach goals and objectives, he missed a lot of the view on the journey. Here’s how he describes it: “At a meeting I was checking e-mail when the leader asked me a question. I had entirely tuned out of the discussion. Busted!
“My administrative assistant was telling me something important as I thumbed through the growing pile of papers on my desk. She called me on it. “You’re not listening to me, are you? Busted!
“I was on the phone with a friend, but was typing e-mails when he was talking. He must have heard the clicking of my keyboard, because he stopped mid-sentence and asked: “You’re not doing e-mail are you?” Busted!
Then he asked, “How many times have we guys been preoccupied with our own thoughts while the dearest person in the world was telling us something very important to her world? ‘Remember, I told you that last week.'” Busted again!
As these events all began to come into focus in his personal life, Wayne came to the conclusion that he was so focused on what he wanted to see happen in the future that he was missing what was happening today. He confessed what a lot of us should admit. “When I go running,” he said, “instead of enjoying the fresh air, the sights and the exercise, I find myself thinking, ‘I can’t wait until this is over.'”
Waiting for a flight, he picked up a book at the airport entitled The Present, by Spencer Johnson. Says this popular business-oriented author, “When you receive the present, you no longer spend your time dreaming about being somewhere else. You’re intent only on what’s happening at that moment. Being in the present means focusing on what is happening right now.”
And when all of this came together, Wayne began to realize that it was time to make some personal adjustments and change his focus from forward to today! He concludes, “When I’m with my grandkids, I’m no longer thinking about that article I have to write. When I’m running…, I’m going to enjoy the view. And when I’m in a meeting, I’m not going to be checking e-mail or writing notes for my next meeting. And if you catch me doing that, look at me and say, ‘Busted!'” (Used with permission of the writer).
Wayne Pederson has lots of company, too, because a host of us are living in the netherworld of multitasking—trying to be all things to all people, never saying, “No,” striving to please everyone at the cost of our families, our equilibrium, and, certainly, our peace of mind.
“Daddy, do you know what you just said ‘Yes’ to, asked one little boy whose daddy was reading the sports section of the paper and watching a game on TV at the same time.
Smell the flowers, take time to enjoy the wonder of your children discovering something, notice the smile of your wife, and enjoy the squeeze of her hand in yours. No wonder the Bible mentions today some 194 times while it mentions tomorrow only 81 times. God’s focus is on today. It’s the only time in your life that you can do anything about. It’s still true: “Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is a gift given to us to enjoy. That’s why it’s called the present.”
Wayne Pederson is right on target: Seize Today! Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Today has enough problems of its own.”
Resource reading: Luke 12:13-34