James 4:14, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
The Los Angelos Times reprinted the following essay by Anne Wells:
"My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of the burrow and lifted out a tissue wrapped package. He discarded the tissue paper and handed me her slip. It was exquisite—silk, hand made, and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.
""Jan bought this the first time we went to New York," he said. "At least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion." He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment and then he slammed the door shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion," he said, "every day you are alive is a special occasion."
"I remembered those words through the funeral and in the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend all the chores that attended an unexpected death. Those words have changed my life. I'm not saving anything.
"We use our good china and crystal for every special event, such as, loosing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. "Someday," and "one of these days," is loosing its grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing I want to see or hear or do it now. I'm trying not to hold back, put off, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. Every morning when I open my eyes I tell myself this is a special day."
Jesus says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). In fact, James points out, in the context of today's verse, that no one is even promised tomorrow. God holds all tomorrows in His hand. He gives us one each morning and calls it "today.". So, we take each day as a gift, live it to its fullest knowing it may be the last. That's not being a fatalist. Instead it is the attitude we are to have that allows us to live God honoring lives. As the Psalmist says, "This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24, NKJV). So celebrate today. It is a treasure God has made and given to you.
Prayer: Father God, we rejoice in Your gift of today. We find peace in knowing that You hold all our tomorrows in Your hand. May we live today in such a way that will capture all the good it holds and live in such a way that gives this day back to You. Thank you for life, the now and the eternal. In Jesus name, amen.
[Adapted from the message: "Our Daily Bread." Listen to full message at www.arvadachristian.org/sermons]