One Day at a Time


“Only a few people are ever given the opportunity to actually see how much they are loved. And that’s what this whole ordeal has been for us — an opportunity…to grow closer to God in faith and trust…to witness the great love of family and friends…to see each day as precious time and live it as such. Most of the time, we can see God’s hand orchestrating this whole thing; but there are days when we really don’t like the music, and we can barely step to it, let alone dance! The saying ‘take one day at a time’ never had much meaning before, but is now our ‘theme song’…”


These lines were written by a woman — wife and mother — three days before she died. They give us a small glimpse into those thoughts that must confront every human soul as it approaches the end of its time here on earth. Thoughts about the beauty of love — love of family, love of friends — thoughts about the preciousness of time, about the gentle but firm hand of God orchestrating all the details of our existence, thoughts about our call to joy in the midst of trials…


It is good every once in a while to come back to these truths. It doesn’t matter that we might live for another six or sixty years on this earth. That is all for God to decide. Our duty is to take one day at a time and make the best of it. One day at a time…that’s all that God gives us. It’s all that we can deal with at any given moment as human beings, and God doesn’t expect of us more than we can handle. Constantly purifying our intention and actively doing our best to fulfill our duty of state with humility, generosity, and fidelity — these things are a full-time job! We need to live in the present, and not worry about the future. “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof” says St. Paul. We shouldn’t trouble ourselves over things outside of our hands. And God is good. So, if the evil and trials of each day are sufficient, then even more sufficient for each day, for each moment, will be the grace that accompanies it. God gives us one small day at a time, and even this day comes to us in tiny increments…moment by moment, by moment by moment…


And we must be honest with ourselves. If we try to look straight in the face at the fact that we could very possibly still have fifty years left in this valley of tears, it can be a bit daunting. It seems like too much. It’s more than we can handle. But if we realize that we only need to make it through one day at a time, that is much more manageable. Most of us would have to admit that we could make it through one more day, even if we don’t know if we can make it through ten more years. But again, that’s precisely what God asks of us…to take one day at a time, to persevere faithfully and generously through twenty-four more hours, and to leave the rest to Him. He, and only He, knows what the future holds for us. We can be concerned about this future, but we can’t really have any immediate influence over it. We don’t know what will be asked of us ten years from now, much less whether we will even be here ten years from now. So we shouldn’t let it destroy our peace and joy. And if we are going to make any impact for the better on the future, it will be by here and now taking one day at a time, by joyfully accepting each moment as it comes to us from the hand of God, by dancing our best to the music of the Divine Composer, and by seeing each day as an “opportunity to grow closer to God in faith and trust, to witness the great love of family and friends, to see each day as precious time and to live it as such.”

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