The quote “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is credited to Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers. He probably took that wisdom from the Bible from Proverbs 27:1 “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.”
For the purpose of this article, we must realize that “our tomorrows” may never come; meaning if we are in the habit of putting the most valuable opportunities off until tomorrow, then we will never experience them. The Bible speaks a great deal about time and our stewardship of the same.
Today is a gift, which is why it is called the “present”. The faucet you turn on puts forth a flow of water. Every water drop that comes from the faucet and passes through the drain will never come back again. You can’t grab it, hold on to it, or reuse it. The same is to be said of time. Five minutes ago is gone to never return. Today will never come back around again. Yesterday is gone forever.
“Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”James 4:13-16 (NLT)
We may know the cost of many things, but we may never realize the value of lost opportunities or wasted time. We promise to cut the technology off tomorrow and read the Bible. How many times have you promised a child or grandchild to read to them “later,” or pitch with them “tomorrow”? Maybe we think that “tomorrow I will sit longer at the dinner table and actually listen to my family and learn something about their day”. James goes on to say in chapter 4 verse 17, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”
We don’t have to look hard to find the daily reminders that life does not have any guarantees. A car accident that unexpectedly takes someone’s life immediately makes what they did with “yesterday” matter a great deal to those they leave behind. What different choices should we make today with our most precious relationships? What would I do different today if I thought it was my last day on earth? Life with purpose requires God to direct us to set life aside as we think it ought to be and look to Him for His greater purpose. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT): “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”James 1:5-6 (NLT)
As it has been said “our children grow up way too fast”.