Don’t Take Life For Granted

by Brandy Webb

Do you ever say, “next year I’m going to do…. Or tomorrow I will do…”?  I do a lot.  I think it is just engraved in us to live forever.  Therefore, we plan, sometimes years in advance, of what we “will do.”  However, life is unexpected.  We honestly have no idea what we are going to do tomorrow, let alone years from now.  I believe that is why James tells us not to say what we are going to do tomorrow because we “do not even know what will happen tomorrow!  What is [our] life?  [We] are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).  This may seem like a depressing truth statement, but it actually should be eye-opening.  Since we do not know what tomorrow will bring, don’t take today for granted.  

Now, I am not saying don’t make plans.  However, when we do plan we need to say “If the Lord wills” we will do this or that (James 4:15).  My point, though, is that we need to live in today, the present, not in tomorrow and definitely not in yesterday.

I admit I take life for granted.  I waste time on meaningless things.  I will put off responsibilities that I should do today till tomorrow, even when I don’t even know what tomorrow will bring.  I hold off on visiting or calling someone up because the sense of them not being here tomorrow isn’t a reality.  I waste time on fretting about little minor things that in a year from now, God willing I’m still here, will be completely unimportant to the point that I probably won’t even remember what I was worrying about.  And I waste time on being impatient and frustrated when life doesn’t go my way.

Am I the only one or am I speaking to the crowd?  It is easy to get wrapped up in our little small worlds where the thought of people not being here, health failing, accidents happening, or us not waking up to tomorrow, doesn’t really come to mind.  Now, some may say well it is a good thing because this is what keeps us positive.  I don’t know, it may be what keeps us selfish.  It may also be what makes us take life for granted.

I have met quite a few people that were terminally ill, and the reality for their lives was that they didn’t know if they were going to wake up tomorrow.  These people weren’t depressed, though.  They lived each day to the fullest.  They didn’t “sweat the small stuff.”  They laughed often.  They had brightness about them because they were full of joy for each day they had. They truly lived lives that Paul teaches in Philippians 4:4-7:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be obvious to everyone. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which  surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I want to live each day as if it were my last.  In other words, I want to laugh often, to find the positive in all situations, to pray, to rejoice, to forgive others, and to repent.  I want to make sure that I speak words of kindness, to live in hope, to love, and to give God thanks for everything.  I want to make sure that I don’t waste time on joy stealers.  I want to make sure His light shines through me.  Life is too short to take it for granted.  Give thanks always and live each day to the fullness.