St. Augustine, reflecting on what it means “to dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life” (Psalms 23:6) noted, “There, the days do not come and go in succession, and the beginning of one day does not mean the end of another; all days are one, simultaneously and without end, and the life lived out [there] has, itself, no end.” Well, we’re not there yet! We meet our days, and make what we can of them, one at a time.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll find yourself making it, getting there — day by day. “Take them one day at a time,” they’ve been telling you all these years; and they’re right. But they’re also presuming that you’ve laid out something resembling a plan that stretches over the weeks and months, into the years, and on into the future, which, although not a place, is a destination.
Just like that journey of 1,000 miles that begins with a single step, so the destiny that is yours begins with the day at hand. Not that your day is your destiny. You are a whole lot freer than that. But yours is a restless freedom, driven by desires and dreams.
There is a Hindu saying that gets us closer to the point I’m trying to make: “You are what your deep driving desire is/ As your desire is, so is your will/ As your will is, so is your deed/ As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
Let your dreams drive your days. Try not to lose a day because you might also lose a portion of your dream, and thus fall short of your destiny. Have great respect for the everlasting importance of this day — the one you call “today.” It is all yours, and no one
has one with more minutes or hours than the day that is yours today. CD
Thank you, Lord, for today
I thank You, Lord, for gifting me, and blessing
me not least with the gift of this day.
Lord, thank You for the gift of this day.
Thank You for the gift of myself — my life, my
health, my faith, my friends, my loves, my
talents — and for the gift of this very day
where all these other gifts converge.
Without this day, I would not have
a cup to hold these other gifts.
I would not be able to drink deeply of
the joys You share with me, day
by day, one day at a time.
There are seven days in each of my weeks,
and seven times seventy reasons for giving
thanks on every one of them. Amen.
Excerpted from the chapter “Days” in A Book of Quiet Prayer: For All the Seasons, Stages, Moods, and Circumstances of Life, by William J. Byron, SJ (Paulist Press, 2006).