“One Day at a Time”
by Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee
The sun comes up and the sun goes down. We get each day one day at a time. I’m writing this on January 6, 2020! King’s Day. The day the Christian Church celebrates the Festival of the Epiphany. The remembering of a ‘revelation!’ When God showed up first in the little town of Bethlehem and then the wise men brought gifts to the newborn child, Jesus. That day. The only January 6 we get this year. Yes, it’s that day but still a new day in a new week in a new month in a new year in a new decade. 2020 that is. Call it a time for clarity of vision and purpose or just a call it Monday. Everyday counts and every day is a gift. My Eastern Orthodox friends call this day “Christmas!” Let the noisemakers and merry makers pursue the day! We live them one day at a time! It’s important. Really.
I remember a story of a woman who found a genie’s lamp on the beach. She rubbed it with hope and a genie appeared granting her just one wish. Wow! She was overjoyed and made quick her decision. “I want to know the day and the hour in which I will die,” she asked. The genie blinked, told her the day and the hour of her death and said, “granted” disappearing back into the lamp. Can you imagine? To know the day and the hour of your death? Whoah! If so, one could be as faithful as needed up into that final hour or be as careless and reckless with one’s life with no worries. How cool is that? Maybe not, though. So, the woman lived her life as she desired. For some of her time she was of benefit to others. And then there were days where she was as selfish as selfish can be. What a life?
The final day and hour approached. She had a plan. “I know what to do,” she said to herself. “I will stay in my room. I will not engage the world. I will stay in my safe little corner until the hour has passed and then I will go on and live my life as I choose.” So, she thought. But, she did just that. The day came. The hours ticked down. She sat safely in a chair in the corner of her bedroom avoiding all of life around her. “This is going to be great!” she murmured. Then without warning, a great storm approached her town. Thunder cracked. The wind roared. Lightning struck toppling the big tree in her back yard and on the day the genie said and at the hour she requested to know, the tree crashed down on her house and she died.
What a way to live, huh?
The Bible tells us… in Jesus’ own words…
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:4 NIV). It did for that woman, on that last day, that’s for sure.
I know a lot of people who worry about the future. Mostly because they keep looking to their past. Sometimes the past isn’t so pretty and when a person doesn’t have a faith that allows for confession, apologies and fence mending they won’t have much room for a word of forgiveness and grace. God is the king of “do-overs” but when we do not trust God to offer a clean heart and mind, the past keeps showing up in the plans we want our future to avoid… it’s a vicious cycle sometimes.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus entreated us with the words, “Give us today, O Lord, our daily bread.” Not bread from the past. Not bread from tomorrow. Or from next week. Daily bread. One day at a time kind of bread thanking God for the past and turning tomorrow’s cares over to the One who cares for us always. Faith matters. Today. This day. One day at a time!
Brian Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland and the lead pastor at New Life Lutheran Church at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Pearland. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi. Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected].