My mind has been hard at work thinking about the future–or worrying about it, more accurately. I feel the urge to think of all the “what if’s” and then try to plan for them, blithely ignoring the fact that the things that do happen in my life are often things I’ve never envisaged.
In the midst of this, a beautiful poem by Robert Frost came to mind. Listen to this:
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
That’s a beautiful prayer for this time of year–this lovely season when trees are bursting their hearts out in blossom and daffodils are saying shy hellos. It’s also a good prayer for the season of life I’m in now, and a reminder for me to focus on the now rather than on the “what if”s”.
Lewis puts it well (no surprise there):
Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.
Elisabeth Elliot has a book called Keep a Quiet Heart. I haven’t read it, but I know the title is what I need to do. Keep a quiet heart that focuses on today’s tasks. And today’s flowers.