“In the end, life offers only one tragedy: not to have been a saint.” – Leon Bloy
I have long been fascinated by the thought of the importance of the “here and now,” and our being more engaged in it. The present moment, since it is the only moment within which we can act (as opposed to a moment in the past or future), is thus the only moment we are really responsible for. Additionally, as my good friend Brother Rex commented:
it is also the only moment in which we can actually experience God’s Presence. The name He revealed to Moses was I AM, present tense. We can reflect upon His Presence in the past; with blessed assurance we can hope for His Presence in the future. But we can only encounter His Presence in this present moment.
If, by God’s grace, I wake up tomorrow morning to another day, I will be grateful for it and live it as best I can, but until then today is the only day I have been entrusted with for sure — the only day during which I can encounter the Presence of God.
This is encouraging as it breaks this giant project of living a good, holy life into bite sized pieces that we needn’t (and in fact can’t) eat more than one at a time. But it is also very challenging and humbling when we consider how many precious moments/days we take for granted.
Think about this: If I, by God’s grace, were to give 100% of today — my time, my talents, my best effort, my most heroic attempts at virtue, and my sincerest repentance whenever I fail — I will have given Him everything, for today was all I had.
But what If I fail to give today to God? What If I hold today back for myself? What If I continue to say “Tomorrow! Tomorrow I’ll begin praying! Tomorrow I’ll break my bad habit!”
If I don’t give God today, I will have given Him….nothing.
It’s true. I haven’t squandered one day of many; I have squandered the only day I actually had to give in the first place.
Thus, the transcendent purpose and goal of our lives that we look towards with hope — being one day holy — is accessible to us only in the most immanent here and now: doing our best to be just one day holy.
We tend to overwhelm and discourage ourselves thinking about the daunting task of living a (whole) holy life, but we are overestimating what has actually been asked of us. What about living just one day holy, specifically the one and only day that has yet been given to us? Could we be faithful and obedient to Christ for just one day?
Well, ready or not, this is the day (“… the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” – Psalm 118:24).
We have one day to walk with Christ — a very finite number of hours between now and whenever it is that we go to bed tonight. Let us seize this moment of grace. Let us, you and I, focus on the task at hand. For today, just today, let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.
One day holy.
The clock is ticking.