Live for Today, Aim for Tomorrow

I wonder how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Just take one day at a time.” I wonder how many times I’ve said it myself.

It’s a good saying to live by. Most of the time.

During the first week of my recovery from hip surgery I’ve been told this over and over. It’s good advice. But I have already learned that there is a danger in trying too hard to focus on just this one day.

Today was difficult. Yesterday was also difficult. If I only focus on one day at a time it starts to feel like they will all be difficult from here on out.

Here is where the next phase of this process has to begin: I can focus on just today and be glad I got through it only to wake up tomorrow to face another hard day. Or I can allow my focus to look beyond today—not to a string of equally difficult days, but to the days that will come after the difficult ones.  The days when I will be walking on both feet again. The days when I will again go to the farmers’ market or walk around the lake or take my grandchildren on a outing and be able walk holding their hands instead of a crutch or a walker.

While it is good advice to take this journey one day at a time, I will sap my strength if I stay there and never try to look beyond this trial. I can’t look only at today or only at the weeks that my doctor has projected for my recovery. I have to look past the recovery to the life I can anticipate when the healing is finally complete. That is where I find my joy and my strength.

What challenge are you facing today? Ask God to give you a glimpse of what lies beyond the struggles. And let that vision give you the joy and strength you need to keep moving one day at a time until you arrive at the day when you can look back at your journey and say it is finished. Jesus understood the concept well.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.