|“Don’t grasp for the future, Joni,” my dad used to say. “Pay attention to the present.” That’s the way Daddy lived; that’s the way he worked.
Whenever my dad would build stone walls on the farm, he wouldn’t rush. He would pick up a rock, brush off the dirt, turn it over in his hands, and line it up this way and that, trying to place it just right. He paid attention to what he was doing at that moment. As a result, forty years later the walls haven’t crumbled.
My stone-laying father would say it’s the only way to live. We make the mistake of thinking God is always preparing us for future ministry. We rush through the present moment too quickly reach the next one. As a result, we don’t pay sufficient attention to the immediate. Oswald Chambers has said, “Grace is for ‘right now.’ It is not the process toward some future goal, but an end in and of itself. If we would only realize this, then each moment would become rich with meaning and purpose.”
This is what today’s verse means. Some translations say, “Walk circumspectly” and “Redeem the time.” Modern translations say, “Make the most of each moment.” God is very interested in the situation we find ourselves in this instant. It’s incidental that he may use our circumstances to prepare us for the future.
Right now it’s easy to look at the month of March and start grasping for April. Then it’s tempting to hurry ahead and red-ink the pages of May and June without giving today a thought. But that’s no way to build a season, just as it’s no way to build a wall. Take it slowly. Look at today and, as my father would say, pay attention to what you do with it.
God, I turn today over in my hands and ask you to help me to pay attention to what you have for me in it, not for the future but for right now.