Grace for Today
Vision is one of the concepts that leaders are very familiar with. We seek vision, write the vision, share the vision, run with the vision and are constantly reminded that where there is no vision, people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Vision is our picture of the future and we want that picture to look better than the picture we see today.
The truth is:
The future is the most uncertain part of time.
No matter how much we seek, write, share and run with the vision, the future is unknown, so when we think about the future we think in terms of “unrealities” – things that have not yet been, and may not ever be, realized.
Pictures of the future arouse either hope or fear. If our present sense of peace is based on favorable expectations for the future, the peace soon disappears when those expectations are not realized.
Nearly all sin is rooted in the future. Temptation to sin comes because it promises some form of pleasure, or freedom from displeasure, in the future.
I would like to suggest that God wants us to be more concerned about how we live and what we do today, than how we may live or what we may do tomorrow.
Does God want us to think about the future? Of course He does! But not to the point where we give the future our hearts or make it our treasure. Not to the point of being so locked into a vision of either hope or fear for the future, that we are not free to live in the present.
C.S. Lewis states in The Screwtape Letters, that the present (today) is the point where time touches eternity. It is the only point in time where we have the freedom to experience reality.
It is today’s duty, to meditate on our eternal union with God
It is today’s duty, to obey the present voice of our conscience
It is today’s duty, to work for the good of generations to come
It is today’s duty, to plan for acts of justice and mercy that we will do tomorrow
It is today, that is alive with opportunity
It is today, that we receive present grace
It is today, that we are to bear our present cross, and
It is today that we are to pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11)
Most often, when we think about “our daily bread” we think in terms of provision for the material resources that are necessary for our present well being. I think that “our daily bread” is so much more than that. I believe that it encompasses:
The gifts that are necessary to do God’s will today
The patience to accept the trials that we will face today
The courage to say “Thy will be done” in the midst of today’s trials
The humility to hope for daily and hourly grace to meet daily and hourly temptation
At this time of year, when the future (next year) and vision (goals, dreams, ambitions) are so much a part of our thinking as leaders, remember that the future is always uncertain. Because of that, I would like to encourage you to be provoked to prayer for the grace to meet whatever uncertainties may come, while you continue to concern yourself with the present, with patience to endure, or gratitude to celebrate, TODAY.
“Give us this day, our daily bread.”