Attempting to have a solid, connected, continuous relationship with God is the most overwhelming thought I have ever had. Seriously, how does anyone even do that? I can barely keep up with my cat.
There is a very cliché quote that you’ve probably pinned, tumbled, or tweeted in your lifetime: “Live today as if it was your last.” It’s such a freeing thought. It automatically instills some kind of adventurous spirit within me. If today was my last day, what would I do?! I could go cliff diving, I could go streaking in public, I could eat two dozen donuts in one sitting. Woohoo! What freedom, right?!
I completely understand the adventurous side of that quote. But that’s obvious, and that’s not what I’m here to talk about (HELLO).
I read a book by my man Andrew Murray called “Abide In Christ.” In this book, he talks about (obviously) the importance of abiding in Christ. To abide means “to dwell.” If you’re dwelling somewhere, you’re pretty much camped out and not going anywhere. So when Mr. Murray tells me that in order to have a real, true relationship with Christ I must abide in Him, I hesitate.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. [John 15:4]
If anyone tells me that I must do anything for the rest of my life, I immediately think about how I know I will fail. In fact, it probably makes me fail faster. I don’t know that I could possibly commit to anything for the rest of my life. I mean, if a branch is separated from a vine, it dies and withers away….and if I am being compared to that….how stressful! But, Murray provides an interesting solution to this overwhelming idea.
day by day.
There no longer is such a thing as tomorrow. Whatever stress comes with tomorrow is gone. Tomorrow may never come! Think about that. We live in a world that is so comfortable putting things off until tomorrow. The word “tomorrow” only exists because we needed something to comfort us in our times of procrastination. There’s no such thing. Are you accomplishing today? Are you living today?
This is a scary thought. Especially for people like me, who put off as much as I can until tomorrow. Especially my relationship with God. I typically live less like today is my last and more like this: “why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” If tomorrow never comes, I am screwed. A lot of us would be. If God judged my entire life by today, what would He say? What kind of excuses would I try to come up with? Good grief. I am not guaranteed the next few seconds, much less tomorrow. But this is not the attitude Murray is trying to teach us.
When I wake up in the morning, I have one task. Survive today with Jesus. My mission is to abide in Christ today. Not tomorrow. It doesn’t even matter how terribly sinful I was yesterday. Today is all that matters.
If all I have to worry about is today, it somehow isn’t as stressful to get up and read my bible for 30 minutes. After all, I only have to do it today. It somehow isn’t as hard to do something nice for someone. It somehow instills a sense of urgency to share the Gospel with the people I love. Somehow, praying specifically and passionately is all I can do, because God’s will still needs to be accomplished after today is over with. My intentions in life are completely changing. All I have is today. If I can wake up each day and do this, before I know it, I will have reached eternity.
The legendary Steve Jobs spoke to college students back in 2005 and left them with this little nugget:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning as asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer had been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Steve Jobs and Jesus Christ as both calling us to live a life of intentionality. All we have is today. All we have is right now. Are you being intentional with your time? With your life? What needs to change? How can I leverage my life today so that God receives all the glory?
If tomorrow ever does come, it will be today. All we have is today, and that’s an amazing relief.