Comings and Goings

“No man ever steps in the same river twice,” wrote Heraclitus, “for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” The river has surged on. The man has changed for better or worse.

These words are on a sticky note in my Bible …

This morning I woke up to something that never was before and never will be again. And the me that woke up was never the same before and will never be the same again.

Today Won’t Go as It Came

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).

The first half of that sentence belongs to God: he did the heavy lifting; made this brand new day, gift-wrapped it, and delivered it to your doorstep.

The second half of the sentence belongs to you. From the get-go you will greet the day with a smile or a smirk, be grateful or grouchy. You will honor God’s workmanship and consecrate the day by being glad, or dishonor God’s workmanship and desecrate the day by being grumpy.

A day never goes as it comes. It is well-used, ill-used, or unused.

This day will be filled with something, and it’s up to you to decide what that something will be.

You Won’t Go as You Came

This day won’t leave you as it found you. It will leave you stronger or weaker—with faith, hope, and love enlarged or diminished. It will leave you more congenial or more disagreeable, more thoughtful or more inconsiderate, more judgmental or more tolerant—more godly or more ungodly.

Your experiences, decisions, and attitudes change you. You never go back to being like you were before you read a certain thing, watched a certain program, met a certain person, went to a certain place, or did a certain thing. So keep a tight rein on what you read, what you watch, who you’re with, where you go, and what you do.

If what you’re watching or reading is filling you with negative feelings of hopelessness, despair, and bitterness, it’s time to change the channel or trash the treatise.

Those Who Rub Shoulders with You Won’t Go as They Came

We elect government officials to be our voice—trust them to represent us and speak for us. It doesn’t take long to learn if that trust was well-placed or misplaced, honored or violated.

God has chosen you to be his voice in your circle of influence. He trusts you to represent him, to speak and act for him. That’s awesome—and scary, given that he gives you freedom to speak and act however you choose.

Remind yourself with each encounter that this person is going to be different from having been in your presence. She will leave up in the clouds or down in the dumps, pumped-up or pushed-down, empowered or disheartened, blessed or distressed.

Family, friends, casual acquaintances, and strangers will come and go—but they won’t go as they came. When they go they will wish their time with you could have lasted longer—or be glad that it’s over.

If today got a little messy don’t despair. Just own up to its failures and say, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” For you see, first thing in the morning another brand new gift-wrapped day will be on your doorstep.

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