Wisdom Lives Today
I’m often asked, “How are you doing?” This is a loaded question. I appreciate the question, yet I don’t know how to respond without prefacing my answer with “today.” Today I am doing okay. Today is the only day I know I have on this earth, though I am confident I have endless spiritual “todays.” With the progression of Wyndham’s illness, we treasure today—each day. It’s a gift. Because it is precious, I think of today a bit differently than I used to. Things that once seemed important often don’t carry the same value they once did. I know things may get more difficult physically for him, and for me, but we choose not to focus on this. Anticipatory fatigue and anticipatory anxiety are real things. Things we don’t wish to choose. Thus, we focus on today.
Today I can do the most important things. I can love God and love people. I can be loved by God and be loved by others. Today I can serve, and today I can live out God’s purpose for my life. Today I can strive to help Wyndham have the best today possible. With God, and only with God, I can do today. And tomorrow, I can say the same thing. Living today keeps me focused on what I can be for God and others now and helps rid my mind of worry and regret. I better understand Jesus’ admonition to ask for daily bread. Today my faith must be real. I must live fully in today. I know that many tomorrows will hold various difficult situations because Jesus says, “in this world you will have trouble.” However, he continues with “I have overcome the world,” so that we can have peace and take heart (John 16:33). Thankfully, this world is not my true home. God planned for us the life before the Fall (when sin entered). As I mention in the book “An Aging Grace,” His lovingkindness and grace kept us from the Tree of Life so we won’t have to stay in a broken world forever. He has something amazing planned. However, to get there I must live well today.
When Wyndham was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy his neurologist lovingly looked at us and said, “You will have the privilege to focus on the things that are most important. You will learn to live the way all of us should live every day.” I could write a whole post on Dr. Khurana and what I’ve learned from him, but I’ll limit this tangent to a few sentences. He has a rare combination of gifts such as listening intently, showing compassion, focusing on the positive, knowing what to say and what not to say, eagerly wanting to help (giving his cell phone number and answering quickly), and building you up. To add to this he is brilliant, yet humble. He is currently building brains from stem cells (in the Khurana Lab at Harvard…yes, it’s named after him) in order to search for cures for this disease. His team of researchers is making amazing and exciting progress as they seek to match antibodies with wayward proteins, hoping the antibodies will kill the proteins that fold improperly into the cells, thus wreaking havoc on the nervous system. I know this is a tangent, but Wyndham’s neurologist understands the physical value of focusing on today, even while his research is for tomorrow.
Such is wise living. Wisdom understands that focusing (spiritually) today is what prepares us for tomorrow. My faith must be strong today to prepare for unknown tomorrows. How I live today affects how I spend eternity. I must wake up today with a pure focus on loving God and loving people, and being loved by God and by people. Certainly, I get distracted and fall short, but this is my goal each day. The Scriptures below (and many more) instruct me on today (emphasis added):
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice! Psalm 95:7 (NRSV)
Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:11 (NLT)
The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope. The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. Colossians 1:5 (MSG)
So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.
For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes.
If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.
These words keep ringing in our ears: Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising. Hebrews 3:12-15 (MSG)
Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life?
Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—
but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.
So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. 2 Peter 3:11-14 (MSG)
So, I ask— how are you today?
Jeanie, I just want you to know I am thanking God for you today (and for Wyndham). The Christlike Spirit that fills today’s post inspires me deeply. Just as Jesus was able — somehow! ! – to remain faithful, thoughtful, worshipful, grateful, loving, instructive, kind, and giving (among other awe-inspiring qualities) with every step he took closer to the cross, so are you able to encourage, uplift, instruct, and inspire through your writing. It is beautiful. Thank you for today.
What a wonderful lesson. Thank you! Focusing only on today makes it manageable. We are able to actually believe that with God and His Spirit, we’ll be able to face each moment. Like you say, we then make each event and touch meaningful.
I pray God helps me be that way today. And I will stop myself when I worry or waste time thinking about the “what if’s” and “what’s next”.
Love you Jeannie. Send my love to Wyndham.
Great to hear from you, Janet. Thank you for the encouragement. We love you and Elliot so much.
This one is so powerful in what it expresses and in how you have expressed it. You are so relatable. With all my heart I wish I was there to help you, to pray with you. But I love you from afar . Kitty
Sent from my iPhone
I can only say a loud “amen” to these thoughts. Ever since Gloria was diagnosed with stage-four cancer, “today” became our mantra, because we didn’t know how much time we had left together; and we wanted each precious day to count. Now that I have lost her and am asked how I am doing, I can only answer how I am doing today.
Thank you both for sharing your journey with us so powerfully.
Thank you. This is very helpful – even blunt in it’s clarity & simplicity. I know this is right but the pressures of life want to argue it’s truth.
And yet, by the argumentive spirit of life’s pressures, it only serves to amplify the point you are making.
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Greg. It means a lot.