It doesn’t take much. A comb, a slice of fruit cake, a book of poems, her favorite hymn: these are the things that throw me back in time, and I remember mama so vividly it’s almost as if I can reach out and hug her. I can see her now cooking over a hot stove at mid-day while all the others workers rested; being quiet – either out fear or respect – whenever daddy lost his temper; sawing all night to be sure to have made three beautiful dresses for her daughters to wear to Easter morning service; laughing and encouraging and sometimes daring me recite “Invictus” and joining in to help me say, “I think whatever God shall be from my unconquerable soul.” I can see her, too, in her autumn years not remembering simple things like feeding herself or bathing herself; but not forgetting to pray – this time not bowed with hands clasped together but standing slightly bent over because age or arthritis or both has robbed of her of the ability to stoop and the strength to rise again.
Meditation for Day 9
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118: 24
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow: these are times of our lives. Too often our yesterdays are crammed with regrets. For, we spend one-half of our time worrying about those things that we left undone, or we spend time crying about the things that we tried and failed. Our future is always a veil through which we cannot see. As a result, we spend the other half of our time anxious about it. We worry about what is going to happen to our children, whether we are going to able to pay the bills, or who is going to care for us in our old age. In truth, we spend so much time looking back at yesterday and looking ahead at tomorrow that we fail to live happily in the today.
The writer of Psalm 118 declares that he will rejoice in the today? How can we have joy today if we spend our times worrying about yesterday and tomorrow? Impossible! What we need to do is release yesterday; it has already happened. There is no changing it. Trust God to order our future; he and only he has the power to do so. After we have taken our eyes of yesterday and tomorrow, then we can have room to rejoice and be glad in the now. In other words, live one day at a time.
Gracious God, In this new year, help us to let go of the regrets of the past and the anxieties about the future so that we can rejoice and be glad today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.