Day 54 – Are you future-oriented or present-oriented?
Prayer for the week
Start you day with this prayer
Holy God, Three-in-One, in the next week we will celebrate the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ – that strange event that seemed like a final farewell. We are reminded that with the resurrection of Jesus Christ the beginning of a new reality was announced: You are truly the Prince of Peace that will reign for all eternity on earth and in heaven.
Show us, Lord, that we can still believe in these times and proclaim that You truly reign over everything and everyone. Turn our fears into trust, Lord, so that we can still be builders in your kingdom on earth, even in the midst of all this uncertainty.
Remind us that we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are still part of the story that You are writing with your creation.
Console us with the knowledge that You did not leave us behind as orphans, but that your Advocate is with us for all eternity – and that You will indeed come back for us (John 14:16-18).
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring – Proverbs 27:1.
There is a huge difference between future-oriented people and present-oriented people. People who live for tomorrow constantly postpone experiencing the meaning of life. Joy and happiness are always waiting around the corner, never here and now. They are not geared for today. They are far too busy planning for the future at 180 km/h. They live frighteningly fast to get today behind them so that the future can dawn at some point.
They are trying so hard to make provisions for the future that they do not know what is happening to their friends and family today. Their worries about tomorrow are stealing their joy from today. Future-driven people see life as one long, winding road. There is no urgency for them to live today as though every second counts for “tomorrow is yet another day”.
People who live for today are like short-distance runners. They run with passion and energy. They suck the marrow from the bone called today because every day is unrepeatable and unique, new and fresh. It is not just another ordinary day. These people know that today is exactly the right day to experience a difference and to make a difference. Today-people see today as special because God made it.
Today-people have short-term goals rather than long-term goals. They experience every day as a true life, not only as a stopover on the way to an undetermined tomorrow. They reach their goals quicker and with more effectiveness because they are not constantly chasing after unattainable ideals. They see the horison close to them and they live calmly, but very focused, on the road to reach that horison. They don’t live rushed, but at God’s one-day-at-a-time speed. They experience an urgency in them because today matters.
Today-people do not wait for tomorrow to see God’s hand at work. They train their eyes on God’s miracles and providence here and now.
Lord, help me to live with the right balance so that I will not steal anything from today because I am focusing too much on tomorrow. I want to live in the present as a gift from your hand. Amen.
Liturgy for life
A time to be thankful …
In a time where many people use social media to express their frustrations over what they can and cannot buy, it may be a good time to think about everything we can be thankful for. Everything that we have, yes everything, comes from God’s hand. It is God who blesses us with life and also with what we need to make life possible. God blesses us with all the elements that make life worthwhile, like relationships and the gift of nature. Use your five senses this week to be aware of all these gifts in your life and choose to be truly thankful for what God is blessing you with.
– Listen to the birds in the garden, to music, to the sound of tractors working on the farm. What do you hear that fills you with gratitude?
– Smell the fresh early morning air, the food that you prepare in your home. Be thankful that you still have food to eat.
– Taste the food that you have to eat. Realise that God is giving you the opportunity to work so that you can eat, so you can help build God’s kingdom.
– Touch the ground in the garden outside, in the fields or in the orchard. Touch your pet, your kids, your parents, your partner. How does this blessing feel? How does your dog, cat or horse react when you scratch their ears with love and gratitude?
– See everything around you. Everything that you own, your kids, the beauty of the region where you live and work. See how God is still blessing you in these most difficult circumstances and cares for you and the world. Thank God!
Write down everything that you experience this week. Write a letter of gratitude or a psalm of praise and put it in your Bible or even share it on social media to remind yourself and others that we have so much to be truly grateful for.
Play with your children.
Wow! 21 Days of isolation. 21 Days in which we’re only allowed to be in our homes (or gardens) and can only go out for the most essential things like food and medicine. It can be a little rough! All the things we usually do during the day, like school, sport, church … are not happening anymore. It can really confuse you and maybe even bore you a little. These daily readings will help you to spend some time with Jesus every day in a creative and fun way. You can do these readings and activities by yourself, with your siblings, or with your entire family. Ask one of the grownups to post your activity on Facebook so that others can enjoy it with you. Tag it with #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
Do you sometimes dream about the future? Do you make plans, and then those plans mostly do not happen as you planned them? Today’s verse from Proverbs reminds us that we should not dream about the future so much that we forget about today. It is good to plan for the future, but our focus should be on today so that we don’t miss out on today’s blessings.
– What makes you excited about today?
– Think about three things that will make today special. Thank God for these three things.
Make a list (on paper or in your head) of things that can only happen today. There are a lot of things that happen everyday, but how it happens is unique. Make time to look at things around you and thank God for them. Here are some examples:
– Look at the sun when it rises.
– Look at the shape of the clouds.
– Look at bugs walking around in the garden.
Look at this week’s illustration.
Talk to the people in your home or with your friends on WhatsApp about the illustration.
– What stands out to you?
– Take note of the things you see, but also of the things that aren’t present in the illustration.
– What would you like to add?
– How does this illustration connect with today’s Scripture, and how not?
Create your own interpretation of the illustration through any medium: dance, photography, videography, music, poetry, drawing, painting or short stories.
Record it and share it with us on social media with the hashtag #countdowndoodles