(by J. R. Miller, “The Building of Character” 1894)
“Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
One secret of sweet and happy Christian life–is in
learning to LIVE BY THE DAY. It is the long stretches
which tire us. We say that “we cannot carry this load
until we are eighty–or that we cannot fight this battle
continually for half a century.” But really, there are no
long stretches. Life does not come to us in lifetimes; it
comes only a day at a time. Even tomorrow is never
ours—until it becomes today; and we have nothing
whatever to do with it–but to pass down to it a fair
and good inheritance in today’s work well done and
today’s life well lived.
It is a blessed secret–this of living by the day.
Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy–until
nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard–for
one day. Anyone can live sweetly, quietly, patiently,
lovingly, and purely–until the sun goes down. This
is all the life which we really ever have–just one
God gives us nights to shut down the curtain of
darkness on our little days. We cannot see beyond
–and we ought not to try to see beyond. Short
horizons make life easier, and give us one of the
blessed secrets of noble, happy, holy living.
We ought not to be content to live otherwise–than
beautifully. We can live our life only once. We cannot
go over life again–to correct its mistakes or amend
its faults. We ought therefore to live it well. And to
do this, we must make every day beautiful, as it
passes. Lost days must always remain blanks in the
records; and stained days must carry their stains.
Beautiful days make beautiful years, and beautiful
years make a beautiful life!
“As your days–so shall your strength be.”