“I made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments” (Psalm 119:60).

WHATEVER TASKS THE LORD SENDS OUR WAY TODAY, WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE THINGS TODAY. The Psalmist’s remark about not delaying to obey God should make us think soberly. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as tomorrow’s obedience.

This book is about “reaching forward,” and its main point is that we need to be future-oriented. But as we look to the future, we must understand that our doing has to be done today. You can think about the future and you can plan for it (and you’re a fool if you don’t), but you can’t actually do anything in the future. Every bit of our doing is in the present. So there is a sense in which the future that will be ours is the one we buy with our actions today. “The future is purchased by the present” (Samuel Johnson).

Problems. It’s usually a safe bet that when tomorrow comes we are going to have to deal with a few difficulties. And very often, tomorrow’s problems will be those that we created today by actions we either took or didn’t take. In fact, it may not be any exaggeration to say that most of our future problems will arise because we postponed maintenance work that should have been done — on our possessions and, more importantly, on our relationships.

Opportunities. Today’s actions will also affect what doors are open to us tomorrow. And the strange thing is, some of the best doors that will open tomorrow will result from actions that, as we do them today, don’t seem very significant. I once was offered a wonderful job in the credit department of a store where I had been doing some very menial janitorial work; the manager noticed the way I scrubbed the floors and offered me a better job. So taking today’s job seriously is often the key to tomorrow’s promotion.

Isn’t it clear that we need to do everything we can to give tomorrow as much of an advantage as possible? Why would we put off doing anything today if doing it would put us ahead of schedule tomorrow? And if it’s in our power today to make tomorrow easier, why would we do anything to make it more difficult?

“The future is an opportunity yet unmet, a path yet untraveled, a life yet unlived. But how the future will be lived, what opportunities will be met, what paths traveled, depends on the priorities and purposes of life today” (C. Neil Strait).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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