The Gift of Today

You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There is a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

– Oogway (Kung Fu Panda, 2008)

Ok, so leading off with a cartoon quote maybe be a bit cheesy… but then again, it gets the point across. My big idea today is that I’ve been worried about what tomorrow, and the next couple years, might hold. I’ve been looking backward at all my accomplishments thinking they might open the next big door. I’ve been looking forward trying to make big plans and tackle bigger accomplishments.

I’ve missed the gift of today.

I’ve fallen in the trap with so many that think we have to use the quiet time of transition to plan for our next big start. While I do see my transition gearing up for a big start, I am in a place that I can do nothing about it… and I should be doing nothing about the start.

We are in Spokane this week; about 500 miles from the starting line. Our big beginning will be in Oregon. I want to grease the skids, check with leadership to verify vision, get the key leaders ready and primed, get the budget prepped, line up the logistics, and maybe even secure a place to live.

But I am waiting.

I am not stuck. I am not being held back by anyone. I am choosing to wait for the right time.

My pride is saying press on!!! But the mantle of humility says to wait, gain perspective, enjoy today, take the time to rest in His creativity.

The pictures I share today come from a path I walked many times over twenty years ago… when I was praying and asking for direction, purpose, and a sense of destiny. Back then, I worked a rotating shift at a remote site, keeping equipment running for the safety of the flying public; helping people see the unseen. I got pretty used to doing what needed to be done, but I felt like there was more.

Twenty years later, I am still helping others see the unseen; but in a different way. I enjoy coming alongside others, helping them to see who they are created to be. I help them see what needs to be done, what resources they have, who they have as a team, and how they can accomplish the mission set before them.

It’s not real glamorous, but it is rewarding.

My ego thinks I need to make a plan and market this gift. My ego thinks I should have made a name for myself. My ego thinks I should do a lot of things. My ego is puffed up and wrong.

When I consider success and what it means to me, I realize that living in the moment was the best gift ever. There is a small voice that says just be a friend to someone; don’t worry about what you’ll do for them. In his book, Let Your Life Speak, Parker J. Palmer calls that voice your ‘calling’ or vocation; that thing that you cannot NOT do. It is your being leaking out in your actions. It is who you are.

As I ponder the gift of today, I realize how many gifts I have had over my life. I realize that standing here twenty years ago has brought me this place today. There have been plenty of people who I thought were blocking my way; but, in reality, they were just a rock in the river. I could’ve got hung up on the rock and seen the obstacle, OR I could’ve flowed with the river into the path that was intended for my calling. I have passed each ‘rock’ and obstacle, and I am moving forward.

I hope my thoughts today have helped you in some way. I’d love to hear your thoughts, maybe talk through some of your apparent obstacles. I would especially love to hear your dreams, your goals, or plans and have the opportunity to encourage you in who you have been created to be.

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