One day at a time--this seems to be the one lesson that life is still trying to teach many of us. We often use this phrase when we are facing trials and difficulty. We have to take it one day at a time. For some of us, it's more like one minute at a time. 60 seconds at a time. If we can make it 60 more seconds...
However, if we look at it another way, we see that all of these days; every "one day at a time" adds up to weeks, months, years, and decades. So far, if you're reading this, you have a 100% survival rate through all these years. That's pretty impressive. But think about what it took to get you to this point.
Every decision that we make makes a difference in our lives and in the lives of others around us. Think about the life choices that have brought you to where you are right now. For some reason, many of us think in the short term. We like things that are instant. We want instant money, instant pain relief, instant _____ --whatever it is, you insert your own word there.
What we forget is that we have gotten to where we are by the little decisions we have made every day. You've heard the phrase, "Rome wasn't built in a day" and it wasn't. I don't know any empire that was built in a day--and neither are our lives. This can apply to us relationally and spiritually as well. If we want that close relationship with God, we have to make the small decisions that add up to the good relationship with God, like going to church, praying, reading Scripture, etc. We cannot just wake up one morning and all of a sudden be perfectly sanctified just because we really want to. God has to do that work in us. God will only do that work in us if we are open to God doing that work, and that work only happens in relationship to God.
A fun word I learned this year is "Somnambulism." This word is the medical term for sleep walking. So many of us suffer from somnambulism and we do not even know it. So much of the time, many of us go through life unaware of what we are doing--unaware of the decisions we are making from minute to minute. And then one day, if we suddenly wake up, it can be anywhere from eye-opening to traumatizing, depending upon when that day comes, what we've been doing, and who we have been becoming up to that point.
If today is your day to wake up from your somnambulism, congratulations. I am praying for you. This is the beginning of a wonderful journey for you. In Matthew 4, Jesus calls His first disciples. Look at Matthew 4:18-22.
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
No one out of that lot had to follow Jesus. Just because Jesus called them did not mean that they had to follow. It was a decision they made that changed the course of the rest of their lives. Maybe today is your day to wake up and hear Jesus calling you. Maybe today is your day to start your journey. Maybe today is your day to begin a better relationship with God.