A Sarine Thought… or Two
Look to the Future, Live for Today
As the new year starts, many of us traditionally choose to make some “New Year’s Resolutions.” Perhaps we make a few changes to how we spend our free time, i.e., exercise more... eat less... blah, blah... yada, yada. Or maybe we remember the things that we put into practice last year and vow to continue pressing on in those endeavors. Others just say, “To heck with it!,” and throw caution to the wind. I typically fall into camp number one: resolving to do better, get stronger, be sweeter, or think longer before I speak.
However, this year, my heart feels differently about how to set my goals. Not to say those mentioned above won’t remain on my 2023 to-do list, but something bigger is at play in my life right now. I can see big changes on the distant horizon and know that my attention needs to be adjusted in terms of the “when” of my focus each day.
I hate to admit it, but I am guilty of having a “living for the weekend” mentality when it comes to life a lot of the time. Saying things like, “If I can just make it to Friday, everything will be all right,” or “I just have to set an alarm six more times until Saturday and then I can sleep to my heart’s content.” Can anyone else relate to these sentiments? Especially when it seems every single day is booked solid with places to be, things to do, and people to see.
I also tend to think and live this way regarding major life milestones. Like when I was a teenager thinking about all the things I couldn’t wait to do. Drive. Graduate. Go off to college. Get married. Travel the world. My eyes and heart were always on the next thing. If it was January, I was looking forward to my birthday and Valentine’s Day. If it was March, I was living for the last day of school and the first days of summer. If it was October, I was eyeing the countdown to Christmas.
I carried these future-minded tendencies into young adulthood as well. I dreamed of how great everything would be when: Ross and I got married, had a baby, moved into our new house, got another pet, etc.
And, you know what? When all those things happened, they WERE absolutely wonderful. But then I got to thinking… had I missed out on some major blessings of the day-to-day variety that were happening in between all those big events?
That thought is motivating me to do things differently in 2023, to adjust my far-sightedness into the future with a near-sightedness focused on today. I’m setting a goal to live in the moment of each day. One big reason for this epiphany is the fact that my son will be a high school freshman in the fall of this year. Can you believe that?! Well, even if you can, I CANNOT! Every parent knows that the countdown to Operation Flying the Coop starts on the first day the children cross the threshold into the high school buildings classified as a student. I knew this time was coming, just not that it would be here this fast.
So, what am I going to do? This year I am going to practice being present and intentional with my family each day. I’m going to engage them in conversation and actively listen to their responses. I’m going to not worry about what we have coming up next on the calendar, but rather focus on the event we are currently participating in. I’m going to relish the time the Lord gifts to me instead of focusing on the time that I am not even promised. I’m going to live in the present.
That’s not to say, plans shouldn’t be made for the future. It is a good thing to prepare for the days ahead, just as long as we live in the day at hand.
I anticipate that when it is time to reflect on 2023, next December, if I practice what I preach, I will find it to be the most blessed year I will have ever experienced. It won’t be because of the big things that might happen. It will be because I will have intentionally focused on the everyday blessings like: morning prayer time with my family, watching my son play whatever sport he is taking part in each season, hearing my husband crack a silly joke, going to work at a job I love each day, and worshipping the Lord with my whole heart. And those are just the tip of the iceberg!
Whatever the Lord has in store for the coming year, I’m trusting Him and am vowing to rejoice in each day He makes and be glad in it.