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Enjoy the now as much as the future

Do you ever approach an event both excited that it is coming but also with a sense of dread? You can’t wait for it to begin, but then you definitely are ready when it is over?  
Weddings often are that way. The excitement is overwhelming, but there is great relief when the day is done.
I approach vacation Bible school in the same way. We start at our church Sunday evening. For the following five nights, we will have close to 200 people under the age of 18 filling every nook and cranny of our church buildings.
What a joy it is to share God’s love with them and to see how many of them “get it.”  Perhaps for the first time in their lives, they understand what we are trying to teach.
That is a joy that is impossible to explain.
On the other hand, I will be ready when Thursday evening rolls around — ready and exhausted. There is nothing quite like teaching, sharing with and loving young people for a week.
But I will feel every bit of my 54-plus years by the time we finish.  
Here’s the tragedy of it all: Sometimes in my anticipation — both of the event to come and the completion of that event — I forget to enjoy the event.
I’ve missed the joy of weddings and VBS. And while I don’t think this is true for me, some people have missed the joy of life.
Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” I do not have time or space fully to explain the meaning of that, and yet I know this much is true: One can live life simply anticipating the next big event, the next milestone, the next significant day, and never really enjoy life at all. And that is not God’s desire at all.
John wrote one of his letters for the purpose of giving “full joy.” Over and over in the book of Philippians, Paul tells us to rejoice. Some use the phrase, “Carpe diem,” or “Seize the day.” Are you doing that?  
Along life’s journey, don’t just keep looking forward to what is next. Enjoy today as the gift from the Lord that it is.  
See his love and his care in the little things that you often ignore. As you do, you will experience abundant life.

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