Words from Jesus
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Seize the joy
In the book of Proverbs, it wisely says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”1 Rather, strive to be like David, who said, “In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.”2
You can plan for tomorrow, but you know that tomorrow may never come. So live in the moment fully and be thankful for and enjoy the time that you have. “Tomorrow” might not just be the next day, but the principle can apply to the next hour or even the next minute. The time you have guaranteed is now. The future is not a given. So you should strive to live each moment to the full, because in reality that is all you are assured of.
Many people are enslaved by worries about tomorrow and the future. Your future destiny is already assured. You have received the promise of eternal life and love and everlasting joy and peace. That is a given. You don’t need to be in bondage to worry about the future. You can plan for it and work toward your plans, but you don’t need to be bound by them.
You are‚ therefore, free to live fully the time you have right now. If you don’t enjoy it right now‚ you really don’t get another chance. You can reminisce about good times or regret bad times. You can remember with fondness how you did enjoy the moment, or lament that you didn’t. But the only actual time you can enjoy the moment is right now, at the moment. So seize the moment! Seize the day! Seize the joy!
Enjoying the journey
Sometimes your best-laid plans go awry. They really mess up, or so it seems. Most of the time you have your plans, your orderliness. You have grand ideas of what you are going to do and accomplish, and everything goes up in the air when some unexpected event occurs. If you are the type of person that strives for order, that can be quite disorienting. But it is a bit like “chaos theory,” whereby some very small initial change may lead to really unexpected results.
You had planned to go from A to B, but somehow you ended up at Z. Don’t fret. Enjoy the journey. If you have prayed and committed things to Me, then expect Me to continue to work in your life no matter what bends the road may take. When the unexpected happens that disrupts your orderly plans, let go and let Me take over. Enjoy the scenic tour. Enjoy the ride, and trust in Me to get you to My destination for you.
Life like soccer
The way to make the very best use of your day is to “pass it to Me.” It’s a lot like soccer. You wake up and the ball is right there in front of you. The whole other team, it seems, is charging at you, trying to “take the ball away”—all the demands of the day‚ your responsibilities, problems, and on and on the list goes.
If you don’t start moving that ball pretty quickly and skillfully‚ any one of those charging adversaries will take it away from you. Each and every one of these needs and demands on your time could very well be legitimate and deserve your time and attention. But if you allow them to commandeer your attention and focus too soon in the day, they can end up hijacking your time and focus and put you on the defensive.
You need to pass Me that ball. Commit it all to Me. I am always right beside you, and all you need to do is just tap the ball over My way. Or maybe I seem to be way over on the other side of the field, and you need to kick the ball pretty forcefully to get it to Me. Whatever the case may be, you need to move quickly, and get yourself and that ball into a position where you can pass it to Me before we try to start moving it down the field.
You can be sure that I’ll set things up just right, according to My plan for you and your day. Keep your eyes on Me, and you can rest assured that the game is in My hands, no matter what the outcome. No matter what your day throws at you, know that we can come out on top if we work together.
The art of merriment
The secret to a merry heart is to not take life or yourself so seriously! If you take life too seriously, you can allow yourself to get bent out of shape over the littlest things. If you vocalize these feelings, this can send negative vibrations to those around you. If you have a merry heart, others will catch on. If you show that you are trusting Me, praising Me, and you’re not stressing over the little things, it creates an atmosphere of peace and calm and faith.
Life is so much more enjoyable and you are so much more pleasant to be around if you have a merry heart and a happy, joyous spirit. You can have a praise on your lips and a merry heart, even when in difficult circumstances. You may have to use a fair amount of effort to stir yourself up enough that it comes to the surface and others can see it, but once you do, and once you get in the habit of practicing praise and merriment, it will become second nature.
Never too bad
You are human; you aren’t perfect. You make mistakes, and when you do, you are sorry and feel ashamed of them. If you were perfect, you would feel like you didn’t need Me, that you didn’t need forgiveness. You wouldn’t be as humble and compassionate of others. You might feel that you could make it on your own goodness and by your own merit. But because you are human and you make mistakes, you recognize your need for Me and you come to Me in love and humility.
I love you no matter what. Your job isn’t to be perfect. Your job is to follow Me and My words, to love Me with your whole heart and mind. Being perfect doesn’t even enter into the equation. So don’t ever be afraid or weary of coming to Me if it has been a while, or if you have made a blunder.
You can never be too bad for Me, and you can never come to Me too late either. It’s never too late to come back around to Me. It’s never too late to come and hear My words and seek My love and counsel. I love you, and I receive with joy every moment, every thought, and every word that you send My way.
Published on Anchor October 2016. Read by Simon Peterson.
Music by Michael Dooley.