Live for Today!

How Bold Are Your Prayers?

As John Wesley was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, heavy winds came up. He was reading in his cabin when he became aware the winds were knocking the ship off course, and he responded in prayer. Adam Clarke, a colleague, wrote it down.

“Almighty and everlasting God. . .Thou holdest the winds in thy fists and sittest upon the water . . .command these winds and these waves that they obey thee, and take us speedily and safely to the haven whither we would go.”

Wesley stood up from his knees, took up his book, and continued to read. Dr. Clarke went on deck where he found calm winds and the ship on course. Wesley made no remark about the answered prayer. Clarke wrote, “So fully did he expect to be heard that he took it for granted that he was heard.”

Today, Live Today

A worried mind is a divided mind. Worry takes a meat cleaver to our thoughts, energy, and focus.

The Bible’s most common word for “worry” is the Greek term: “merimnate.” The origin is “merimnao.” This is a compound of a verb and a noun. The verb is “divide.” The noun is “mind.” To be anxious, then, is to divide the mind. Anxiety chops up our attention, derails our purpose, and scatters our awareness in a dozen directions.

We worry about the past: what we said or did. We worry about the future: tomorrow’s assignments or the next decade’s developments. Anxiety takes our attention from the right now and directs it back then or up there.

The challenge is to keep our attention on the “right now.” Here is a resolve that I wrote and read often:

“Today, I will live today.
Yesterday is past.
Tomorrow is not yet.
I’m left with today.
So, today, I will live today.

Relive yesterday? No.
I will learn from it.
I will seek mercy for it.
I will take joy in it.
But I won’t live in it.
The sun has set on yesterday.

The sun has yet to rise on tomorrow.
Worry about the future? To what gain?
It deserves a glance, nothing more.
I can’t change tomorrow until tomorrow.

Today I will live today.
I will face today’s challenges with today’s strength.
I will dance today’s waltz with today’s music.
I will celebrate today’s opportunities with today’s hope.

May I laugh, listen, learn, and love today.
And, tomorrow, if it comes, may I do so again.”

Leave your problems with God. He does not need our help, counsel, or assistance. (Please repeat this phrase: I hereby resign as ruler of the universe.) When he is ready for us to re-engage, he will let us know.

© Max Lucado
November 2015

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