Finding Balance Between Today and Tomorrow

Finding Balance Between Today and Tomorrow

By Robyn Roste
February 22, 2011

It's a motto, a saying, a pop song, a punk ballad, and even a movie. We've heard it so many times its meaning is dulled and clich├ęd even.

I'm referring to the phrase “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Ever heard it? At my grandparents' farm this framed saying — complete with a delicately embossed rose — greeted me across the sewing/guest room each morning. I don't think a visit passed without my pondering the deeper meaning of these words.

Even when I was young I recall noting the difficulty of living in the present, moving past yesterday into tomorrow. About living each day as if it were your first. And your last. But since these words are backed up by many verses in Scripture like Psalm 118:24, James 4:13-17, Philippians 3:13, and Romans 8:18, I also know it's the truth.

While we know we shouldn't live in the past, things get confusing when these ideas about the present are contrasted with the words of John 12:25, John 17:16, or Luke 21:33. Instead of teaching us to live each day to the fullest, they teach we should not be too attached to our world or our lives here, because they are temporary. So what are we supposed to focus on — our present or our future?

The answer is both. Although it sounds like a paradox, the key here is learning to balance the reality of today with the hope of tomorrow — making decisions today knowing they will affect your tomorrows and help prepare you for what's to come.

Think of it like the parable Jesus relates in Mark 13:34-37. Pretend you're house sitting for a friend and have been trusted to take care of the plants, pets, and yard but have no idea when your friend will return home. Since you don't know when you expect your friend you don't get too comfortable. You take care of the house, you wash the dishes, and you tidy the bed each day so everything is in order just in case your friend returns that night. Although you're presently taking care of the place, you know at any moment your friend will return home and you will leave the house.

So, is it possible to live in the present while being mindful of the future? Yes! The real trick is to figure out how to live in the present without getting too comfortable, so you're ready to go just as soon as it's time.

How do you find balance between today and tomorrow?

About the Author:  Robyn Roste

Robyn Roste