Take care, siblings, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. - Hebrews 3:12-13 (NRSV)
My 4-year-old is being a pill. She wouldn’t eat dinner. Splashed all the water out of the tub. Fought tooth and nail over getting into her pajamas.
I’m yelling. I’ve lost my cool. I see her off to bed with only the most perfunctory of goodnight kisses.
As I move to leave, she mumbles, “You say ‘tomorrow.’”
It’s a ritual she and her mom have that I’ve had to learn. I sigh. I’m supposed to tell her what will happen when she wakes up.
I sit on the edge of her bed and begin, “Tomorrow is Friday. I don’t have to work, so it’s a daddy and Nola day. Let’s have fun, OK?”
And like that, my daughter has reminded me. There is a tomorrow. A time when, with any luck, I will not be quite so tired or quite so irritated. A time when I can even imagine having fun with her again.
And if there is a tomorrow, that must mean there is a today. That this moment at her bedside right now is called “today.” And it’s as good a time as any to start again.
I wonder if this is possible with grown-ups, too. To forgive, to soften, to turn my heart back to the Living God. To be reminded that I have all I need to show love in this very moment. Every day. As long as it is called “today.”
Living God, thank you for today, every day.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.