One of the things I like about living in Florida is that I can ride my bike nearly every day. It’s during these times, when I am in prayer (as much talking to God as I am asking Him to keep me from being run over by the rush hour fanatics), that some of the inspirations I have for this blog-ministry come to me.
Yesterday as I was babbling to myself on the Pineda Causeway I was thinking about how we are told, over and over, to take each day as it comes. This came from reviewing my work schedule; being an IT Remote Assistance Engineer (Help Desk) I never really can control my workload. When the calls come, I have to manage them. And that is about the best I can do- try to manage what comes to me. That’s when it hit me: what I do at work is pretty much what we do in life, i.e., we really can’t do much more than manage what happens to us.
I remember the parable about the man who told Yeshua about all the plans he had for his family and his home. Yeshua said the man was foolish making all those plans because his soul would be required of him that very night. There’s the “Lord’s Prayer” (we ask only for our daily bread), and the manna God provided (which was to be collected only for one day at a time.)
We are told to trust God day by day, and at the same time we are told to focus on eternal things, too. We are to live our lives with our focus on heaven (for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.) Keep your eyes on the prize, run the good race, seek ye first the things of heaven.
To me the word of God is clearly telling us to trust God every day, and only day by day, to provide for us. Manage what happens as best we can and always take one day at a time (Yeshua also said not to worry about tomorrow because today has enough tsouris of it’s own.) However, every day we should also look to the future: not the immediate future, but our eternal future. We are to honor God in everything we do and say. These are things that are not just day to day, but throughout our generations. The commandments God gave us are for everyone, forever. Not some just for Jews, and not some just for Christians, but every one of them for everyone who says they worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And throughout their generations.
Yeshua (Jesus) also lived each day as it came, but His focus was on Eternity as He preached about the Kingdom of God. Always, and in all ways, Yeshua stayed focused on Eternity, even as He simply managed what came, day to day (the fox has it’s hole and the bird has it’s nest, but the Son of Man has nowhere upon which to lay his head.) If we truly want to “do as Jesus did” then we should take each day as it comes, doing what God commanded us to do. And those commandments are the ones in Torah. We can’t do every one of them, and the ones we can do we can’t do every day: that’s why we need Yeshua to cover our stains of sin with the cleansing blood of His sacrifice. But that’s no excuse not to try. As I have said often (and probably will often repeat), we cannot be sinless but we can sin less.
Just as Abraham wandered a foreign land, Moshe led us through the desert, David ran from Saul, and Yeshua preached the coming kingdom, we are shown that we should live for today and plan for Eternity. Trust in God to provide what we need today (I have been young, and now am old, and I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread) and always be focused on Eternal things.
Don’t try to control what you cannot control (do not kick against the goads.) We live in a reactive environment, and the best we can do (also the least stressful on us) is to manage what comes our way, as best we can. Trust in God to provide and protect you as you try to stay in control of yourself (which is the only thing we can control, as hard as that is), and remember to keep your focus on Eternity.
It’s really quite refreshing, and relaxing, to take things in proper perspective- whatever tsouris you are going through, it is temporary. In fact, it’s probably not even going to last for as long as you think. Looking forward always seems longer than looking back, and when we are looking back from Eternity, well…you probably won’t even remember what you are going through now.
Work as well as you can today with what you have to do today, and remember that no matter how bad it gets God is in control: He will protect and provide for you. And, when all is said and done, nothing you are going through now will even matter.