The Story of Today

This Sunday in youth group, we studied Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refugein him.”

In small group, the idea was to share a story about how God has been good to you. One? Just one story? How could I possibly upload to these girls how great God is with just one story? Which story would I choose? And does one story even begin to cover the hundreds and thousands of days when God has proved Himself absolutely and totally 100% faithful?

I remember one other day in youth group when we talked about Jesus moments and God encounters–those days when there was no denying His hand in our lives. We got a little off track (typical), so I asked the girls why it was so easy to talk about everything but those Jesus moments. One student answered me, “It’s easy to talk about the other stuff because it happens every day. Jesus moments only happen once in awhile.”

I think I literally heard God’s heart breaking in that moment. It was like I could hear Him say, “What? Every single day I’ve breathed into being? Every single sunset I’ve painted? Every single gift I’ve handed to you throughout the course of your day? Did you not appreciate any of it? Did you not see that I was the One giving it to you?”

Sometimes I feel like God is simply jumping up and down on the sidelines of our lives screaming, “Hey, I’m right here! Look at me! Me–your biggest fan.”

And we go right on living as if He isn’t there. As if Jesus moments only happen once in a blue moon. As if we only have one story to tell–one single moment when God actually showed up and changed everything.

And we forget. We forget that ever single moment of our lives is God-breathed. Shaped and crafted by His hands. We forget that every moment is a Jesus moment, alive with wonder and possibility.

We talk about work and school and sports and the weather because, once again, God didn’t show up in a way that we could clearly see.

But I think what we need to ask for is the gift of awareness and the ability to see the numerous gifts God crafts for us each day. Because every single day is another story to tell of how God has been so good. So alive. So wonderful to me.

Let’s not forget to look for the story of today.

I Refuse to Wait

My roommate and I have decided that we’ve missed half of the year. What I mean by that is, it’s the last day of August and I hardly remember experiencing the first. Thus far, 2012 has been one, big blur which is kind of disappointing amidst all my “live the journey” talk.

Because I haven’t been living the journey. I haven’t been embracing the moments like I should.

I’ve been getting caught up in the big things and allowing the rest to simply slip by. But the problem is, life isn’t comprised of the big things. It’s the little things—the everyday things—that I’m missing. And there went most of my year…

Sometimes living Beyond Waiting is easy, but lately it’s been hard. Sometimes I can lose myself in wonder without even realizing I’m doing it, but recently I’ve had to remind myself to be impressed by the little things. Recently, I’ve been repeating the phrase, “I refuse to wait.” Because living—truly living—it would seem, is a choice. And waiting—merely waiting—comes far too easily.

Time and time again, I find myself getting caught up in anticipation of the big moments, forgetting that each day is a gift. That the day I’m living right now will never be lived again. (And some days I’m thankful for that, but for the most part…)

I’ve spent most of my life waiting for tomorrow and missed far too many todays.

But right now, in this moment, I have a chance to change that pattern. I can choose not to spend my time waiting. I can turn my mind from future worries and live—simply live—today.

God gives me a handful of moments and it’s up to me to decide if I’m going to cradle them to my chest or watch them fall around my feet.

Today, I can boldly say that I refuse to wait, as I take my first step toward embracing wonder anew.

Finding God’s Will For Today

Yesterday, someone walked into my office while the staff meeting was still going on. As he sat on the couch and waited for my co-worker, we struck up a conversation about following God. See, my unexpected visitor was a pastor who is constantly being asked, “How do I discover God’s will for my life?” Naturally, he does what Jesus would do and answers with a question: “Are you following God’s will for today?”

That question really got to me. Knowing what God wants us to do with our lives is a big deal. That’s why we strive so hard to discover His will for our futures, but the bigger question really is, “What is God’s will for today?” That’s what life is made of. A whole bunch of todays. If you start walking in obedience today, it will come a little more naturally in the future.

We tend to easily get caught up in the “someday” mentality. Maybe we think we know God’s will for the future, but that future never comes because we don’t start stepping toward it today. We never do anything to make it happen because it’s God’s plan for “someday.” Someday… after we get all our ducks in a row. Someday… after it falls into our laps without us having to expend any energy. Someday… after we’ve exhausted all our excuses.

Today I encourage you to let go of your “somedays,” stop focusing on the future, and simply ask God what His will is for today.