SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TOMORROW AND TODAY.
living a life of balance and purpose
Somewhere in between tomorrow and today.
In my heart, I know that life is short and none of us are promised another sunrise. I know that being present in the moment is the most meaningful way to live. That waiting for a better time means our time may run out before that better time comes.
In my head, though, I know that the future matters. That throwing all financial, relational, and spiritual responsibility to the wind in the name of #yolo is a careless and ultimately self-destructive way to live. That it’s important to invest in relationships, in Roth IRAs, in real estate.
My heart wants to blow all my savings on travel, on giving, on experiencing, on making memories.
My head wants to save, save, save. Get better at adulting. Pick up another shift. Another job. Buy another house. Put my nose to the grindstone until it bleeds the blood of responsibility.
I’m stuck somewhere between tomorrow and today. Perhaps you can relate.
I know there must be a balance between the two. I just don’t know how to find it.
Last year, I only went on one international trip. I worked 70 hours a week. I saved relentlessly and made sacrifices. I invested in the future, invested in the things my head wants. Until, that is, I came down with the devastating mystery illness that made me want to die, that put me in bed for 15 hours a day, that required months of testing and hordes of doctors in order to ultimately be identified as Lyme Disease.
This year, after several months of antibiotics and drastic lifestyle changes, I’m on the road to recovery and feeling a solid 50% better. As a result, my heart once again dominates my decisions. I just got back from Greece and Turkey last month. I’m going to Norway, Sweden and Denmark in less than a week, and to Quebec and Vermont in June, two trips that I cannot and should not afford. I’m taking nights off work, impromptu, to stay at the beach. I’m investing in the present. Investing in the things my heart wants.
You see, I could die tomorrow.
Or, I could live another 70 years.
Nobody but God knows my future, and He’s not being all too forthcoming about it.
So I search for the balance between tomorrow and today, between the head and the heart.
As with most things (except for maybe lead in Flint’s water supply), moderation is key. I need to strive to find balance, to live for today while planning for tomorrow. I dare say that no workaholic who reaches the end of her life wishes she would’ve spent more time in the office. Conversely, though, no party animal who ends up homeless and penniless wishes he would’ve spent more of his money on frivolous things, either.
The common thread that sews together today and tomorrow, I suppose, is purpose. Why am I here? What was I put on this earth to accomplish? To become?
I believe that I am here for two things: to love God and to love people. Most days, in my pursuit of either present happiness or future preparedness, I fail miserably at loving anyone but myself. But, in the midst of the clutter and clamor of today and the uncertainty and anticipation of tomorrow, there is One who was, and is, and is to come. And His love is unbelievably perfect. Unbelievably selfless. Unbelievably, we are the objects of His affection.
He made the ultimate sacrifice to live in our present experience, to live as a man on a wicked planet, to walk a mile in our shoes while carrying a rugged cross. Having conquered death, He started planning for the future. He went home to prepare a place for us, so that we could spend forever with Him in a world full of none of the questions we now face. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow, and today.
In the light of what I believe really matters in this life, it’s still wise to plan for tomorrow while living for today. I will still strive to find balance, to slow the wild pendulum that swings back and forth between my head and my heart. Mercifully, though, we are not in control of our own destiny, in control of how many sunsets we will live to see on this pained planet. So, we live in each moment while looking towards the future. A future far better than anything we could have concocted on our own. A future far better than a Social Security check, a pension, and a bad back and arthritic hips. A perfect future, crafted by the Maker Himself.
A future where every day will always have a tomorrow, and each day will be better than the last.