LONG ago I discovered there are two ways of living life positively no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in — in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, for better and for poorer.
These two ways are hence:
1. Live as if there is no tomorrow. In other words, we would live as if we would die this very day — today! Now for a secular person that might mean living it up, spending up big, doing every sordid thing possible. But that’s not how to live if you believe there is a life beyond this life. We might use our final hours to say our appropriate goodbyes, ‘I love you’ to loved ones, and to forgive all the grudges that remain.
2. Live as if today is the start of the rest of our lives. This way we put whatever has held us back in the past behind us. We move ahead unrestrained and unconstrained into a future replete with blessings of relational treasure. A future with a vision for spiritual prosperity.
The criticisms of the first method are few, if we take the latter attitude — eyes focused on eternity. The criticisms of the second method are also few, if we honestly repent of past transgressions against others. Hopefully we are prepared to live in the light only of eternity.
If we live as if there is no tomorrow, we are not plagued by fear for the future. If we live as if today was the start of the rest of our lives, we depart from guilt and shame for the past.
If we integrate both these we have the solution to most of our problems — if, indeed, the past or the future are problematic for us in any way.
Living as if there were no tomorrow, yet, living as if life starts from today, motivates us to make the most of the present.
We are neither hemmed in by fear nor guilt or shame. We take the present moment just as it’s presented — so totally uninvolved with emotion one way or the other.
Living for today and living as if life starts today is living grounded in the present.
Nothing can harm us if we are so dedicated to making this moment work. Nothing can disempower us if what was behind is firmly behind, and if what is ahead is left ahead.
Live for today, yet in light of eternity. Life starts today, yet don’t forget it may end today, too.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.