“Today” Should Be a Verb — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy in Your Journey — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy in Your Everyday Life

I think that one of my glaring weaknesses is that I tend to look back through the pages of time more often than is necessary or healthy.

My heart repeatedly flips through the memory book of yesterday … as I relive moments … savor past holidays … enjoy ordinary days … and recall the sweet sound of voices and laughter.

Why am I like this?

Does everyone do this?

Or is it a fault unique only to me?

Frequently I long for … even ache for … “the good old days” of yesteryear.

“Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

When I find myself refusing to escape from the time tunnel of reminiscence, I admit that I am stubbornly focusing on a perception that is only half-true.

I refuse to recall the “hard” … and only linger upon the “easy”.

I forget the pain …and solely embrace the delight.

I ignore the aggravations … but splash in the pleasantries.

Sometimes I wonder if the reason I default to the happy days of the past is because I am unhappy with my life today.

That is likely partially true … but not fully so.

I actually love my current life … 

I love being a Marmee to 9 delicious grandchildren …

I love serving the Lord … writing books … ministering to a lost and hurting generation … teaching the Word of God to anyone who will listen …

I love the friendships I have cultivated over the years and now are bearing rich fruit …

I love the stage of marriage that I am in … even though Craig and I both travel a lot … when we are together it is good … very, very good.

And yet … I wonder if I am sincerely engaged in today simply because I can so quickly and easily get lost in yesterday.

When the children were young …

When I lived near my mom …

When the children were all following the Lord …

When my dad was alive …

When my children needed me …

When I had more of life in front of me than behind me …

I have heard it said that memories are the personal diary that we get to carry in our hearts.

I know that to be true.

“Sometimes small memories cover a large part of our hearts.”

Maybe the conundrum is not in the constant remembering as much as it is the emotions that the memories stir up in my heart.

If I am constantly melancholythat is not a good thing.

If I can be happy over the life I have been giventhat is a good thing.

If I would rather have it be yesterday than todaythat is not a good thing.

If I can learn the lessons of yesterday and apply them to todaythat is a good thing.

If remembering yesterday makes me unhappy with today … that is not a good thing.

If the goodness that I have experienced in my life fills my heart with gratitude …that is a wonderful thing.

“Sometimes memories sneak out from my eyes and roll down my cheeks.”

And so, I trudge forward … armed with my memories … with gratitude in my heart … and with the wisdom that I have attained.

I can linger upon the sweetness of yesterday only momentarily because I must live fully in today.

I’ve often believed that the word “today” should be a verb.

I need to “today” with my whole heart.

I must “today” enthusiastically and enjoy the treasure that it holds.

I must “today” in moments of quietude rather than reflect upon the melody of yesterday.

I need to choose to “today” even when my heart wants to remain in my memories.

And there comes a defining moment in my search for happiness among the shadows of the past when I determine to default to my faith rather than to my feelings.

As I choose not to ignore the photograph album of my heart but to just set it aside for now … I decide to open a different book … a grander book … an eternal book.

The Bible does indeed have an opinion on what I should remember and what I should forget.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits.”

Psalm 103:2

If I can look at the past and applaud the Lord for His goodness … then I get to remember.

“That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments.”

Psalm 78:7

If thinking about yesterday increases my confidence in the Lord and in His faithfulness … then I get to remember.

“I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”

Psalm 77:11

As I look back upon the ages and stages of my life, I need to forget my weaknesses, failures and disappointments, and fully remember everything that God has done for me.

If I can forget “my stuff” and remember only “His stuff” … it is then that I discover the power and purpose of memory.

If I can remember what God has done … that memory will lay a solid foundation in my heart as I wait for what He will do tomorrow.

I’m on a journey … as we all are.

I am learning to lay down my preferences … my opinions … and even my memories at the foot of that old rugged cross.

I am dying to self … and committing myself to become more like Christ.

And so today … I wrap up those bittersweet memories with the truth of Scripture … and I set my face toward tomorrow.

He will be there to meet me.

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, 

but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:

forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:12 – 13

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart, but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!

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