[CF Devotionals] 2011-08-31 - Alcoholics Anonymous© Has It Right

Alcoholics Anonymous© has it right - "One Day at a Time." I think most of us are familiar with their saying, and it's really quite Biblically sound. The only day we have here on Earth is today. As the once-popular song lyrics reminded us, "Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine" (here on Earth, anyway). 1

And God's word, through such parables as those of the lilies "that toil not, neither do they spin," or the "birds of the air, who do not sow or reap or store away in barns,"(Matthew 6) remind us that just as He cares for plants and animals, we can and should depend on Him to provide for our needs every day.

But it seems to me that too often, we head in one wrong direction or another. Sometimes we get mired in the past. We become obsessed with our past mistakes, or what someone else has done to us. Or we can even "rest on our laurels," living on our old successes and victories instead of growing spiritually.

And sometimes, we become derailed in the opposite direction. Our thoughts are dominated by "when such and such happens, things will be better," e.g. when I get a new job, when I lose weight, when I buy the newest model of my favorite car etc. Or conversely, we can become consumed with worries over what may or may not happen in the future, playing the scenarios over and over in our minds, until we can even lose sleep or wreck our health (or our teeth).

Sometimes it takes a stunning, life-altering event - such as a terminal illness, the loss of a job, the death of a family member - to shock us into seeing that we must take life 'one day at a time.' Sometimes when we lose a loved one, as we lost our beloved Pierre, and many of you have lost loved ones, the pain is simply too deep to deal with "the big picture." We find that we can only face the pain incrementally, one day at a time.

Do I mean that we should live mindlessly, and "for the moment?" Of course not. It's all a matter of balance. We can learn from our mistakes of the past, and use those as building blocks for a better future, as well as allowing others to learn from our mistakes. And we can celebrate the joys of the past, and apply God's wisdom to making plans for the future -while keeping our feet and hearts firmly planted in the present, making the most of every day and everything God gives us, one day at a time.

  1. One Day at a Time, by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson (© 1974)

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