“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matt. 6:11
So Jesus taught us to live one day at a time. As our days are, so will our strength be, provided we do not try to carry the past and the future. Each new day is a bit of eternity given for our use and joy.
It has never been ours before; it will never be ours again. It will not come back. No two days are alike; each has its duty, its good and evil, and its hope. If we look for the loveliness of life and the lovable-ness of people, it will be happy.
“Undress your soul at night, as you do your body,” said George Herbert. Drop your work, your worry, your weariness, your mistakes, your fears, as you do your garments.
Shut off the future too. When we try to live tomorrow before it comes, we wake up tired and unfit to face it. Morbid regret and futile fear ruin life. It is today lived intently, earnestly, that makes the future and fulfills the past.
Ask for bread for today—bread for the body and for the soul. Give thanks for the gift of a day. Remember, we have to live with ourselves, and we need to set our inner lives in order; use the little prayer Jesus taught us.
Also, we have to live with other people, some of whom are difficult, often because they find life difficult; they fight against heavy odds. Each human being has his secret sorrow, his unknown ache, his hidden anxiety to meet.
If we set down these facts, or renew them in our minds before the day begins, we shall have fought our first and hardest battle against unkindness and those dark, blind thoughts we know not nor can name—shadow thoughts.
Live, love, learn that life is greater than we think and longer than we dream; God forgives, renews, sustains. He is greater than our minds can grasp, and higher than our hearts can hope for. In His great hand we live.
Yesterday is gone, never to return; tomorrow has not arrived. But today is here, all the time we have or need; too short to be little, too long for hate, too radiant for fear, too holy to be desecrated with unkindness.
Therefore, just for today let us live as “the better angels of our nature” tell us to live, and as we know we ought to live. One can do anything for one day.
Just for today let us be unafraid of life, unafraid of death, which is the shadow life; unafraid to be happy, to enjoy the beautiful, to believe that the best is less than the truth that waits For us to be truehearted and free.
Just for today let us live one day only, forgetting yesterday and tomorrow, and not try to solve the whole problem of life at once. Lincoln said that a man is just about as happy as he makes up his mind to be; suppose we make up our mind to it.
Just for today let us adjust ourselves to what is, our family, our business, and not try to make the world over to suit us. It is a large order—if we cannot have what we like, maybe we can like what we have.
Just for today let us be agreeable, responsive, cheerful, charitable, be our best, dress our best, walk softly, praise people for what they do, not criticize them for what they cannot do, and if we find fault, forgive it and forget it.
Just for today suppose we do not hurry, or worry, or fly into a flurry, or hem and haw about a decision, but snap it out, cut the knot, and have done with it. It is amazing how indecision can tear one in two and wreck a day.
Just for today let us get people off our nerves, and not get on their nerves, appreciate the noble and gracious things they do— how brave and kind and lovely they are—often enough when their hearts are sore and heavy.
Just for today let us ditch all the grudges we have against life because it did not give us what we thought we ought to have, as if anybody ever got all he wanted. Let us look at it with fresh eyes and discover the wonder of it.
Just for today let us study something useful which requires attention, concentration, and do a bit of real thinking. Also, let us do a good turn for someone on the sly and not get caught — else it does not count.
Just for today—every day—let us do at least two things we do not want to do, for exercise, to show that we are still boss. Let us not show anyone that our feelings are hurt; if they are hurt, let us hide it with a smile.
Just for today let us find or make a little time for quiet, to relax, to realize what life is and can be, and to resolve to make more of it; time to think about God and get things straight on the inside, untangled and clean.
If we try a few of these things and they work, maybe it will not be too difficult to try more of them, again and again.
—Adapted from Joseph F. Newton, “Everyday Religion”
“Thought For Today to Brighten Your Day”
Glenn, Mercedes & Lauren Hitchcock
Peninsula church of Christ, Hampton VA.