by Rev. J. Loren Russell

There’s nothing like a birthday to remind you that there is nothing like the present. As much as we sometimes want to, we can’t go back and change yesterday, and we can’t go forward to tomorrow. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. Waste today and you’ve wasted all that you have. There is nothing like the present.

On Friday, I celebrated another birthday. With it came the realization that I’m not as young as I used to be, and I’m not yet as old as I’m going to get, but I thank God that I am still here. I count it a blessing to have another year of life. While I counted my blessings, I realized that what I did yesterday made today. What I do today will make tomorrow, but today is all I have. There is nothing like the present.

Friday was my birthday, my personal new year. It was time to make resolutions, to recommit to being the best I can be, to be all that I was created to be. But I couldn’t go back to yesterday and change things, and I couldn’t go into tomorrow and set things up. All I had was the present.

I thought of and prayed for those whose health, mind and/or spirit has forsaken them; those I know of who now stand at the brink of despair. I thought of those who have lost hope in the future because their present is so devastating. They long for yesterday and yearn for tomorrow. The Psalmist helps our understanding when he wrote; “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24 KJV). To rejoice is to delight; to be overjoyed; to celebrate; to be happy. You might be going through something that challenges every fiber of your being, but you’re here! And as long as you’re here, you can fight a good fight; you can rejoice and be glad that you’re still here. Today is the gift from yesterday and the hope for tomorrow. Unwrap it and rejoice in the magnificence of today. There is nothing like the present.

If you can rejoice in this day, the day that The Lord has made, you can be happy just because. You can’t wait until tomorrow to be happy. You can’t decide to be happy once your circumstance changes. The time to be happy, the time to be overjoyed, the time to celebrate is now! Circumstance has no bearing on your happiness. Today is all that you have. It is the best thing that’s ever happened to you, because it’s happening to you now! What you do with it is your decision. There is nothing like the present.

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, former president of the prestigious Morehouse College, penned a poem to help us understand the magnitude of the present. He wrote,

“We have only just a minute,

Only sixty seconds in it.

Forced upon us, can’t refuse it.

Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.

But it’s up to us to use it.

We must suffer if we lose it.

Give account if we abuse it.

Just a tiny little minute,

but eternity is in it.”

There is nothing like the present!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv, is an associate minister at both Goodwill Baptist and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Bronx Chronicle, its staff, and/or contributors to our news site.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email