While I was working at a summer camp last week, I was surprised by a few of the campers who were intently focused on what was coming next in the schedule. As a teacher, I encounter this a lot – kids wanting to know what’s going to happen next – and, as an avid schedule-follower, I can understand their obsession. But it makes me wonder if looking constantly to the future causes us to miss the now. That sometimes we can be so concerned with what’s coming next that we miss out on the blessing of the moment we’re living.
We teachers do a lot of verbally identifying the day of the week – groaning over Monday, anticipating hump day, and celebrating Friday. This behavior isn’t limited to the teaching profession, of course. A quick perusal of Facebook makes it pretty clear that we’re all living for the weekend. And hey, 4th of July weekend is a pretty great one to look forward to (am I right, Opelt family and our epic firework displays?)
But sometimes I worry that this sets the precedent of negating the rest of the week and only giving credence to the weekend – Ignoring the value of the work to get on with the play. I get it – I’m with everyone else who enjoys the slow pace of the weekends and the extra days to get caught up on what’s been pushed aside during the week. But by living for the weekend, we miss out on what God is trying to teach us even during the struggle of the other days of the week. I know, I know, I loved my job and now I’m on summer break, so who am I to talk? but even now I find myself living for the next thing or waiting for the difficult things to pass just as much as when I was working all day.
The funny thing is, the more I anticipate something good happening, the less I enjoy it because I am always thinking about how fast that good thing is passing too. We can’t control what the future holds, and so we embrace the present.
When we remember that every day that we wake up (even if it’s earlier than we would prefer) is a day that the Lord has made, and we are to rejoice and be glad in it (pretty sure there’s not a clause in the bible that says this only applies to weekends), it makes us rethink our attitude about the week days. God has given us this moment now, whether it’s full of struggle or enjoyment. Do we really want our handful of moments to pass us by only to realize that we were never really there?
I know some people have much more difficult things to endure than I do, but are we looking at every task in our lives as opportunities to serve God? What if we lived every moment for that moment instead of longing for the next one? Can we do that even in the difficult times? I love the weekend just as much as the next guy, but I also need every day that God gives me for that day alone. Even in the suffering, we know that “this too shall pass” and this is a “light and momentary affliction” compared to the eternal weight of glory.
Heaven is like that – the now and not yet. We who have Jesus in this life, the promise of the kingdom now, but we know it is not yet fulfilled on this earth. And so we wait. But we wait in this moment, living in the now, knowing that it is broken and we are not yet fully perfected. But we look forward to the not yet when all our days will be Fridays.
I’ve included a bonus art piece, the butterfly painting with verse from my post about how butterflies remind us of our identity in Christ, for free download below. I’m slowly working on adding more to my shop; I’m being inspired by the western landscapes, but I love to do custom orders as well.
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