DayBreaks for 7/13/18 – If There Were No Tomorrow’s

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DayBreaks for 7/13/18: If There Were No Tomorrows

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2008:

I’ve already got plans for tomorrow…and for numerous days after that.  I am sure that you do, too.  It is a normal and very human thing to do.  As far as I know, humans are the only thing on the earth that formulates plans.  My dog may decide he’s hungry, so he gets up and walks over to bury his face in the food bowl, but that’s not planning.  I don’t think that he has ever had a thought like this: “Tomorrow I’ll get up, look out the window, bark at some birds, wander outside and chase lizards for 15 minutes to get exercise, take a nice, long cool drink, and then come in and slobber all over Galen.”  If he had thought such things, that would have been planning. 

My plans for tomorrow are varied.  Some will be just pure enjoyment, others are having to do with duties, and still others may or may not happen depending on how everything else works out and what might come up unexpectedly.  It isn’t necessarily bad to have plans: we’re told in the Proverbs that we should look at the ant and learn to prepare for the storms of life that may head our way – and that requires some planning.  We’re also told not to trust in our own plans, for they are flawed and our ways are not God’s ways.  If our plans for our lives and His conflict, guess whose plan will lose?

So, in planning, we need to always be aware that our plans are subject to Divine review and change.  There are some things, however, that I don’t think God would ever remove from our plans.  Obedience to the first and greatest commandment and to the second greatest commandment are two examples of such things.  Those things are always good – and delight God’s heart. 

Maybe that’s what makes it so sad (and vitally important) to contemplate the question: what if there were no tomorrows?  What relationships in my life would I want to improve?  What disobedience would I seek forgiveness for?  What repentance is needed?  Who would I talk to that I’ve been avoiding because of some silly disagreement or upset in the past?  Who would I want to see one more time?  Who would I want to tell about Jesus before my tomorrows ran out? 

The problem, of course, isn’t really in answering those questions I just posed, but in believing that some day our tomorrows will run out – and we just never know when that day will be upon us, like a lion on a wildebeest.  But, that day will come.  It’ll come for me, and it’ll come for you.  Like the children’s game of hide or seek, that time will come with the words, “Ready or not, here I come!”  And then we’ll be in its clutches. 

Since we don’t know when that day will come, doesn’t it make sense today – this VERY DAY – to begin taking care of some of those questions listed above, to fixing some of the broken things in your life?  What is ONE THING you will do today to start working toward the point that when the times comes that there are no more tomorrows for you, that you won’t leave this world behind with regrets?  You can’t fix it all in one day, but you can fix it one day at a time…as long as you have even just one tomorrow left. 

PRAYER:  Give us wisdom to know where to being to work with Your Spirit to fix up the brokenness we might leave behind if we have no more tomorrows.  Give us the courage to live each moment, let alone each day, as if it were our last.  Put the people on our heart that You have prepared to hear about Jesus, and let us speak His name to them while we still breathe.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 7/01/16 – Wise Philosophy

DayBreaks for 7/01/16 – Wise Philosophy

Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:

Psalms 39:4-7 (NLT) – LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away.  My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.  We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend.  And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

Our congregation has been hit hard recently with unexpected illnesses.  Some have been to parents of members who are well advanced in years.  Somehow, those things are not as surprising as when they happen to little ones.  We have a family in our church right now who has a little boy (3-1/2 years old) who is lying in Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care unit at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, waiting for a heart transplant.  This little boy suffers from a fatal heart disease and the only hope for him (barring God’s miraculous intervention which we are all praying for) is a heart transplant.  He suffered cardiac arrest around the first of the month and has been on a respirator since then and since having a partial “artificial heart” implanted to help keep him alive until a suitable transplant heart becomes available. 

That just isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen.  When unexpected things happen to little ones, we’re shocked, stunned and grieved beyond words.  Why do these things happen?  I’m not really looking for an answer in the philosophical/religious sense, but I think that one of the many lessons we can, and should learn from these types of things is this one: life is short and so very precious.  It doesn’t really matter if it’s someone in their 80’s or 90’s (life is still short, even if you do live to be that age) or a newborn. 

Someone once came up with this insight:

“Live for Him today – for tomorrow may be too late” versus “Live for today – for tomorrow may never come.”

What a difference between the two attitudes and outlooks.  One is very self centered – living for today implies that we are living for ourselves, for our own existence, and that if we don’t live for today we may regret it when tomorrow comes because we will have missed out on experiences that we could have enjoyed in this life.  The other is outward focused – living for Him – and not worrying about experiences we might miss out on.  In reality, it’s trading one set of experiences in life (and eternity!) for another based on a value judgment that we make. 

We must decide, given the few frail years that we are allotted, where we will place our greatest value and attention.  On ourselves and living for what we can get out of life here and now (because tomorrow may not come), or for Jesus because if we don’t live for him today, we may never live for him (or with him)!

Which of these two philosophies best represents the way you live your life?  What evidence do you have to back up your thinking?

PRAYER:  We have so much to learn, Lord, and we are so prone to trying to learn from all the wrong sources.  Thank you for the reminders in your word that life is uncertain, that death is certain, and that eternal destinies are realities that we must all come to grips with.  Help us to have wisdom to live for You today, trusting that in the end, it will have been absolutely the wisest, and best thing to do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.