Today won’t come back. When midnight strikes, today will be gone. Forever.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate today. Today sometimes gets buried in all the things we need to get done. Or today is merely endured because there are some things we don’t like about today. Maybe it’s raining. Or maybe we’re at odds with a loved one. Or maybe we’re embroiled in a difficult situation, we’re worried about a sick friend, we’re bored at work, we’re caring for a cranky child, we’re nursing a sore back, or we’re disturbed by the headlines in the news. So when today ends, we say, “Good Riddance!” and hope for a more congenial tomorrow. In doing so, we may be failing to see the goodness and beauty nestled just beneath the surface of today.
The truth is, joy seldom comes to us unadulterated. What’s right and good grows side by side with what’s wrong and bad. Isn’t that what Jesus’ parable about the weeds and the wheat says? Maybe that means we have to look harder at today. We have to be more patient with today, more accepting of it. And maybe we need to be more trusting of the God who walks beside us every today.
What if all we had left were today? Would we appreciate it more? Would we explore it more? Would we be more alive to its mystery?
In her book, The Listening God, Sister Miriam Pollard, OCSO, says today is sometimes like a poorly wrapped gift. She writes: “We must develop a skill for unwrapping inelegant parcels if we want what is hidden inside.” Another image she uses is this: “Today is a secret whispered in a noisy room. We have to learn how to hear.” And finally: “This minute is a husk around a joy that will remain untasted if we don’t cultivate the ability to peel.”
Isn’t that one reason you pray? Isn’t that one reason you made time today to read this blog? I suspect you are hoping that praying and reading reflections like this one might aid you in unwrapping the parcel of your particular life. Or these things might help you hear the whisperings (or at least the footsteps) of the God who is beside you amid the noisiness of today. Or they might cultivate your ability to peel away the outer husk of your life in order to taste its specific joy.
So don’t let today slip by unappreciated. Don’t let its goodness, beauty, and joy go undetected. Notice them. Thank God for them and for all the things that are good and right and beautiful with your life—and with the world.
Remember, yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn’t here yet. All we’ve really got is today.
In the U.S. The National Republican Convention begins this week in Cleveland, my “home town.” For several months the Sister of the diocese of Cleveland have been encircling the city in prayers for peace. Many others have joined us in this prayer. Won’t you too?
On a personal note, I will be giving a spirituality day for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Watertown, NY on Wednesday July 20. I ask your prayers for this intention too. Thank you!
The song I chose is St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful prayer, “Lord Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”:
Do you have any suggestions on how we can appreciate today more?
Or how we might work for peace?