“Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”
To me, this has always been one of those annoying clichés. It has become so overused it’s lost meaning. It’s like nails on the chalkboard.
In the last week or so, I’ve been subtly bombarded with this message. Not in annoying, syrupy-sweet ways that made me shut my mind to this idea. In powerful ways that whispered in my ear, lingered in my heart, and made me stop and thoughtfully consider…
Do I really unwrap my gift each day?
I understand the fragility of life on Earth. I know that we are all mortal, and at some point we all stop living. At some point, we all go on to something more than this life. I think I understand that more than most people my age. But, do I take advantage of each day I’ve been given?
No matter how much I’ve thought about it, prayed about it, and tried to rationalize it, I come to the same conclusion:
What a disappointment that must be to the One who gives me that gift. I’m thankful for every day I’m given, but what am I doing with each one? And what about all of the other gifts I’ve been given? Am I using those? Or am I leaving them unwrapped on a shelf somewhere, saving them for another time? What am I waiting for? Why am I saving the things I should be savoring?
I’ve always been over-planned and over-prepared. (I should have been a boy scout…except that I’m a girl and hate the outdoors.) I worry about everything. I think about the worst possible scenario. I didn’t want my things to get messed up or ruined, so I would put them away. Save them for a “special occasion.”
Until God smacked me in the head and laid a heavy truth on me: EVERY DAY IS A SPECIAL OCCASION. Because I get to be here, on Earth. I get to hug my little boy and listen to his beautiful voice. I get to watch him sleep and hear his gentle snoring. I get to spend time with friends and family and do work that challenges me. How can I not consider that an occasion worth using my gifts?
When I get to my eternal home, I don’t want to see all the gifts I never unwrapped out of fear of failing or of messing them up. I want to know that I’ve used them to the glory of the One who made me.
This realization is the first step. I don’t think there’s a 12-step program for people who are too scared to move. I’m going to mess up. I’m going to fail. But, I’m also going to stop only worrying about all the things I can’t do and start focusing on things He can do.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” – Matthew 19:26. That doesn’t seem cliché at all.