Some of us live in the past – yesterday, last week, the summer of ’09, or was that ’89? Going forward is difficult when we’re focused on the rear-view mirror.
By contrast, some of us live in a ‘fantasy future’ – tomorrow, next week, next year, when we get that new job, or new truck, or maybe win the lottery! Saskatchewan is ‘Next Year’ country after all, isn’t it? Hey, it’s okay to look ahead; just be careful not to trip over the rock under foot just in front of you.
But what about today? Yesterday was, but it is gone. Tomorrow will come but when it gets here it won’t be tomorrow. Isn’t ‘today’ the only day we really have?
When the Almighty God of heaven revealed himself to people, he called himself, “I AM”. Not “I Was”; not “I Will Be”. It seems he wanted to let us know that he lives in the ‘now.’
Through the psalmist, he entreats us: “If only you would listen to his voice today!” (Ps 95.7 NLT).
Through the prophet he invites us, “’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 1.18).
Through one of his chief New Testament spokespeople, he reminds us that God has said, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you. Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6.2 NLT).
Jesus told a story about a wealthy farmer who was looking at a bumper crop (Luke 18. 16-21). He was short of bin space so he did what any of us would do. He made a plan to get more storage capacity. Then he did something that some of us might be tempted to do. He indulged in a self-centered reverie about a very comfortable future.
“I’ll say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink and be merry!’”
What he didn’t know was that he would die that night. He made plans for his farm and he made plans for his pleasure, but he neglected to make plans for his own personal spiritual future.
We are soon coming into the busiest season of the year. Farmers will need to harvest their crop and they will need space to store it. They, and we, do have to make some future plans. But if those plans all centre on prosperity and comfort without regard to God and eternity, we are neglecting what matters most.
Today is the day of salvation. Even in harvest time. Some of the saddest words in the Bible are found in Jeremiah 8.20: “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”
Thankfully, summer is not over; harvest is not past. It is still today, and we can take advantage of the opportunity that God in his grace has put before us.