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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I've Never Seen Tomorrow

I’ve never seen tomorrow. I only have today.

Why is it when our loved ones are gone, we never think "I wish I’d spent more time worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or next year." "If only I’d stressed more about my job." "I wish I'd thrown myself into more activities outside the home." Inevitably, we wish we’d spent more time loving and laughing with that person we miss.

Planning for the future is a wise thing to do. We open savings accounts and 401Ks, we make sure our insurance coverage is adequate and our wills are up to date. We consider where we’d like to be a year from now or five years from now. We consider our spiritual growth and what God desires for our lives. We educate ourselves and our children so we might be successful in whatever unfolds in God’s plan.
As prudent as it is to plan, prepare, and organize, if the planning takes your focus off the things that are most important—family & friends—then I need to take another look at my motives.

I’m a planner, an organizer, a list maker. People roll their eyes at me when I tell them how far in advance I plan for holidays or events. They think I’m obsessive compulsive when I describe how I organize the small details. They’ve even made unkind remarks behind my back about how they think I’m showing off.

But they miss my point altogether.

Throwing myself blindly into the activity of planning or organizing is not my goal. The goal is to unclutter my schedule so I can take time to hold hands with my husband, pet the cat, sit back and gaze at a picture of my son, and reminisce. I can take a day to drive up to the mountains and lean against the same tree my son leaned against and appreciate the view he loved. If the youth group needs a batch of cookies, I can make them. My friend wants to meet for lunch, I’m there. My sister in Christ has a heart-wrenching prayer request? I’m on my knees. I have time. Tomorrow will never be as important as today.

I’ve never seen tomorrow and neither has anyone else. By the time tomorrow arrives, it’s today. So why do we focus so much attention on tomorrow? Take care of today, because tomorrow isn’t a promise. If resolutions are in the making, make this one:
Let all your plans and all your work for tomorrow have one goal: to unclutter tomorrow so you can make a precious memory today.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

(In memory of my son, Sgt. Jonathan Paul Stevens, USMC; 6-22-77 ~ 1-10-06)


Tracy Perez said...

Thanks for the reminder. I am so trying these days to live in my moments. Not in tomorrow's nor in the past but right here and now. I am very much a planner. I get frustrated if I haven't left time for me to enjoy the moment. I am thinking of you this week and thinking of my memories of Jonathon and smiling!

Rose McCauley said...

Thanks for sharing, connie. This is one of my goals for 2009--to be so uncluttered of things that I can enjoy all that God has in store for me.

Nel said...

Connie, I stumbled onto your blog thru "Writes of Passage. Today was by Kim Vogel. She was talking about your email, and the letters to God. I too received that email today, and the one written by your son, touched my heart. When I read it I thought, you smart little boy... you already know that God does things right! How small a world is it? It is even more special now that I know the history.
I hope you do not mind if I list you on my blog. Bless you!

CraigP said...

Hi Connie,

Very nice blog and a great message about living in the moment. I do think that the vision of tomorrow can influence for the good what we do now in the moment. To that end, I created a video that I thought I would share with you. It's not political, it's just to draw all of us together as Americans and as people of God. Hope you'll take a moment to watch it. Thanks!
Craig Parsons