Reflections on "Today"

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life" is a quote that has been bantered about so often that it can now be classified as a cliche (anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse), yet it is to profound to be relegated to the annals of abused quotes. In this post however, "...of the rest of your life" is not the part that interests or concerns me, indeed it is the first part that I find so relevant today: "TODAY is the first day....".

We wake up in the morning, brush our teeth, drink our coffee, read our E-Mails or Blog posts, or do whatever we do every morning and the thought of a new day does not even cross our minds. We dive straight in and wrestle the hours away. Some hours are pleasant, other are harrowing and somethimes downright terrifying, but mostly it is humdrum - we have done it all so many times before that we do not even notice we are doing it again - whatever "it" might be. We never even think of the wonderful gift we are handed on the golden pallete of the sunrise every morning - a new day - TODAY.

It would bode us well to stop every morning and realise that TODAY is a precious gift; ours to do with or make into what we want to. I think of TODAY as my saviour, crucified between two thieves, Yesterday and Tomorrow and I remind myself that Yesterday is a cancelled cheque and Tomorrow is only a promisory note, but TODAY is cash is hand for me to decide how I am going to spend it and on what. Oh yes, you might tell me that your responsibilities towards your husband or children or boss or parent or an untold number of different situations and circumstances will determine how your "TODAY" will be spent and yes, I agree, but only YOU have the power to determine the quality of the hours in today.

Will I spend them in anger and discontent? Hating everybody and everything I come in contact with. Frustrated with all the thing I wish I could change but cannot. Weighted down by the burdens of everyday life on out dear little Planet Earth... or will I face this new day with peace in my heart and a smile on my face, believing that God will send nothing my way that Him and I together, could not face.

Sometimes we get stuck in the past: "If only I did.... If only it was... If only I could..." Sometimes we wish our future away: "I wish it was Christmas already... I cannot wait for my grandchild to be born... I cannot wait for my next promotion...." What a waste! We can do nothing to change yesterday and even less about what will happen tomorrow, but we can take today and mold it into what we want it to be. Sure, bad things can and probably will happen (we have Murphy to thank for thank), but we get to decide how we will experience and deal with it.

Someone wrote the following and I thought it was very well said: "This is the beginning of a new day. I have been given this day to use it as I will. I can waste it… or use it for good. But what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I’ve traded for it. I want it to be Gain, and not loss, Good and not evil, Success and not failure, in order that I won’t regret the price that I’ve paid for it. I will try just for today…for you never fail until you stop trying."

God knew well that we could not live our whole life at once and therefore He gave us only one day at a time to savour, experience and enjoy. We should consider this gift more and start every new TODAY with determination to spend it in such a way that when we go to bed tonight, we can do so in the knowledge that today was worth a day of our life. Today was gain and not loss, good and not evil, success and not failure.

I am a John Denver fan and must close off with some words from his song:

"Today is the first day Of the rest of my life.

I wake as a child

To see the world begin.

On monarch wings

And birthday wonderings.

Want to put on faces.

Walk in the wet and cold.

And look forward to my growing old.


PhilipH said...

Another well-used adage goes along the lines of:

Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present.

Have a great day.

Argent said...

AW, I was going to say what Phil said! I love the analogies in the post and I REALLY like the whole "trading a day of your life for it" idea. I'd never heard it put so well before. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

A human kind of human said...

Hi Phillip and Argent. You must be living in my time zone to comment so quickly (ha,ha). I like the "present" idea - just a little saying but so true. "Trading a day of your life for it" does make you stop in your tracks and think, doesn't it. I personally so often just waste away minutes and hours that I think I wrote the post mostly to remind myself that I only have so many days and I must use them wisely.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

This is how I greet my days -- the bad ones as well as the good. (That's not to say I don't complain!) My wonderful ex-husband died a year and a half ago just short of his 58th birthday. Watching him gracefully and lovingly go while maintaining his sense of humor changed me forever; I vowed never to let myself be tainted by the negative - people, attitudes, etc. Life IS too short; and another day here to enjoy laughing with my kids or crying over the lack of ready finances or gritting my teeth over a flat tire or sighing as I sink into a hot, bubbly bath -- those are all good reasons to remember that my days are given as a gift from my beloved Father who loves me beyond compare. And that this is the only one I get. I choose to spend it in peace - in as much as is possible! Thank you for these lovely words.

smoke said...

I agree. You cant afford to waste even a single moment of this day. It might just be the moment you find greatness.

A human kind of human said...

I am surrounde by professional complainers and I am even thankful for them as they make me more determined not to focus on the negative in my own life, but rather to enjoy the good.