Most of us live very busy lives. All too often, you go to bed fretting about what the morrow will bring. You sleep restlessly and awake with a feeling of dread. If you are a student facing an important examination, you worry about making a good grade. You might be facing an interview for a new job, or perhaps you must make a speech to an important audience. You might be making decisions that will have long-term financial consequences. At one time or another, each of us has faced such situations.
Seneca the Younger (4BC - 65 AD), an ancient Stoic, famously said, “As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your possession. We must seize what flees.”
The same thought is captured in the quotation from Matthew 6:24 cited above. We all must face the challenges of a new day and plan how to spend our time. We do not get a second opportunity to re-live a day and make different decisions.
How will you spend this day? What will be your contribution at home or work? Will you be creative? Supportive? Forgiving? Thoughtful? Faithful?
Harold S. Kushner writing in How Good Do We Have to Be? summarizes the stages of our lives. When we are young, we find that religion helps us find our way in the world. In middle age, we depend on religion to give us “peace of mind and of soul.” And, lastly, when we reach our elderly years, we “conclude that God cannot keep us alive indefinitely no matter how good or pious we are.” So, we ask God to give us “the blessing of memory.”
Kushner says that only humans have the capability to remember the yesterdays, live today, and envision the tomorrows that we may yet enjoy. Memory, is what allows us “power over death” by keeping a departed loved one “alive in our hearts.”