Yesterday I went to see the musical Rent in Orange County. It was the first time I had ever seen the show from beginning to end and I was blown away by the acting, the music, and the story. It was amazing.
Rewind to earlier yesterday as I sat in first service listening to Pastor Paul continue the series “Live Like You Were Dying” at NewHeart. He highlighted the aspect of loving people deeper by doing things that are unexpected and unaffordable and the importance of doing it NOW — knowing that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Rewind ever further back to Saturday afternoon as I sat and witnessed a friend get married. They each declared and promised their love to one another in a beautiful ceremony. They promised to keep Christ at the center of their marriage as the move together toward the dreams that God has placed in them individually and as a couple. The pastor then challenged us who were there to believe God for the dreams he had placed in us and to not let them fade away because they don’t seem to be coming true.
And finally, fast forward to today. I had dinner with my friend, her sister, her dad and her fiance. This was the first time I had seen my friend since her mother passed away last week. There was so much joy and peace in their house and it blessed me to hear them speak of her mom and all that she had been through in the last couple of months with such hope and grace.
Once I got home this evening, I decided to watch the movie version of Rent because I had been so blown away by the show. Once again, I was enraptured by the story, but something happened as I watched it this time. All the pieces of the past week and, even more, the entire year started to fall together. By the time I got to the end of the movie, I was in tears as the cast sang “No Day But Today.” I think that this is what I supposed to be learning all along.
If I were to write out the story of my life for this year, I could safely say that many of the themes would mirror C.S. Lewis’ “A Grief Observed.” For me, 2009 has lent itself to a perpetual state of grief – not that there haven’t been good times, because there have been, however things were rapidly changing and people and places that had been constant were quickly disappearing.
I have spent my life trying to predict the future, to se what is coming next, avoiding risks until I could weigh all the pros and cons. I put most of my time and energy into creating to do lists and schedules and calendars. I’ve missed out on the deep relationships. I’ve missed out on the spontaneous moments. I’ve missed out on a lot of todays because I was always worrying about the tomorrows.
Tomorrow may never come. It’s a scary thought but unfortunately it’s true. How many days in this year alone have I had a conversation or gotten a phone call or text message or e-mail telling me about someone who didn’t get a tomorrow? A lot more than I could’ve imagined. But that’s life. No matter how you live it or what you make of it, this life will end. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. There is no day but today.
There is no future /There is no past/ Thank God this moment’s not the last
There’s only us/ There’s only this/ Forget regret or life is yours to miss
No other road/ No other way/ No day but today…
There’s only now/ There’s only here/ Give into love or live in fear
No other path / No other way/ No day but today