November 9, 2016
A young man was excited about his first paycheck on a new job. It might have been more money than he had ever received at one time, and his enthusiasm was obvious. With no bank account and apparently little advice, he cashed the check and started spending. Before long, the money was gone and he had very little to show for it.
Cashing the check and carrying that money in his pocket was not a good choice. He did not have a plan, so he bought whatever came into view that looked attractive. If he continued to follow that pattern, he would never accomplish his dreams.
While this was some years ago, the same pattern is often seen today with the use of credit cards. It is so easy to spend money that we do not have and deal with the penalties and interest later. Financial advisors tell us to use these cards for convenience and only when we know we can pay in full when the statement arrives.
A larger concern than spending money is living our life without a plan. It is easy to think we have a lot of years ahead and that a few wasted days or weeks is not a big deal. Children and young people struggle with this, but even adults can become careless. One day might not seem that significant if we believe we have a lot of them yet to come.
While it is important to consider the future, I wonder if the significance of this day gets the focus that it should. Do we begin each day with a grateful heart that is focused on making the best use of our time? Do we take any time to review our priorities, evaluate our schedule, consider our attitude and reflect on our appreciation for Jesus and for the people we love?
What if, before too many hours passed, we learned that we had only a few days to live? Would we feel good about how we have lived the most recent month or year – or even yesterday? The way we answer these questions will be influenced by remembering that each day is a gift.
Pastor Bill Ehmann