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?
Dear Sister Melannie,
Thank you for this timely reflection. I will do my best to be more mindful of miracles about me and keep in mind the words of the psalmist, “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” The song is perfect, especially in light of the violence around us, and so, in the words of Saint Francis, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Perfect timing on God’s secret whisper Sr. Melannie. In light of all the violence we keep seeing and hearing about around us, we must look for wheat among the weeds.
I have read The Listening God. What a beautiful book.
Dear Melannie, Once again your message is very timely. I am reminded to be aware of the blessings of TODAY. You lead me gently to come to prayer knowing that our God is always waiting just for me. Thank you.
In my life, I have been through many medical trials and surgeries. During those times I always say when I get through this, I will never complain again about doing routine, daily chores. I have spent so much time in bed during these episodes, it is a pleasure to be able to blow-dry my hair or take a shower, prepare dinner. I never take a day for granted. My life’s journey has taught me to appreciate every day, all it encompasses and to make every day count. I thank God every day, for my life and for all the people in it.
Thank you, Sister, for the “timely” reminder and necessary reflection.
You hit the nail on the head for me. I will share this reflection with my Advisory group when school begins again in Sept.
Then again, and again.
God’s whisper ….. ahhhh.
“. . .hear the whisperings (or at least the footsteps) of the God who is beside you amidst the noisiness of today.”
Thank you for those words and for my favorite song/prayer.
I have been praying for Cleveland and will continue to do so.
Thank you, sweet Melannie❤️
As always you touch my heart. My mantra each day is,”Do one kind thing either for stranger or friend..even if it is just a smile, hold a door, take back their shopping cart, squeeze all the joy from the day, let the sorrows go..thank God for the day, and say Good night”
The hymn is what we all need to live by..let it begin with me.
As always Blessings and prayers for you. Thank you.
How wonderful to read your reflection TODAY. I am going through some very rough relationship struggles and on occasion I have both “dreaded tomorrow” and also thought “will this day ever end?”. TODAY truly is a gift and too often I forget that. Every TODAY is unique and I thank you for reminding me to embrace TODAY and let go of yesterday and tomorrow.
Hi sister Melannie
I can’t tell you how many times my life has felt like it was in a shambles , yet something good was happening in the background. Thanks for such insightful weekly messages. I love them all!
Sister Melody – Thank you for giving me direction and the ability to be thankful for each day!,
Hope your presentatio tomorr goes well!
Thank you Sister! Very timely message the song is one of my favorites. Our world situation is not pretty, we definitely need God back in our country. Praying for you on your day Wednesday.
Dear Sister Melannie, Thank you for being God’s instrument–once again. Immediately before reading your blog, I opened an email letting me know that an old friend had died. With tears still in my eyes, I opened your blog to find you chose my dad’s favorite song as your choice. I very much appreciated hearing it today. My dad was named for St. Francis, and I sense he is near whenever I hear it. Coincidence? I think not. The heavens know how to comfort us. God bless you. Joanne
What good have I done in the world today? is a question I have posted on my desk. A reflection worth spending some time with. Blessings.
This was such a good message. I feel my days are numbered at this stage of life., so one of my favorite expressions is “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has no guarantees. We only have today. Let’s make it the best we can.” You always have such a great themes. Thanks.
Thank you Sister for the beautiful reminder of today.
I know I read this last week but it didn’t really register until I reread it today. I especially appreciated your excerpts from Sr. Miriam’s “The Listening God”. Even when we are aware that today is all we have, we often don’t hear that whisper in a noisy room. I, especially, need to remember to listen.
Dear Sister Melanie,
Thank you for “Sunflowers.”. Enjoy them very much and share them with co-workers and friends.
My I pad crashed so I lost my connections with you. Please resend them to me at my new email address.