Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
So begins Oh, the Places You’ll Go, the Dr. Seuss book that’s been a staple at graduation ceremonies for the last 50 years. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good Seuss as much as the next guy. But for most of us, post-graduation, today doesn’t seem so spectacular and full of promise. Instead, it just feels like yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that.
Such is life – it’s lived mainly in routine. Same cup of coffee and cereal. Same commute. Same chores. Same errands. Same meetings. And the clock rolls on until the calendar rolls on. For most of us, most every day is mostly unexceptional.
That is not a bad thing, when you consider it from a certain perspective, because in as much as we might be bored with some parts of our daily routine, there are other things we don’t actually want to change. In fact, I can think of at least three reasons why, in the midst of that same traffic or same meeting or same daily task list that we should give thanks for the unexceptional nature of today:
1. Because His mercies are new every morning… again.
Praise God, this is true. The Book of Lamentations was written during a dark time for the people of God. Everything around them was crumbling, and as you read this book, you can almost see the stain of the prophet Jeremiah’s tears on the manuscript. All the most sweet, then, is his confession about the exceptionally unexceptional renewal of the mercies of God:
Remember my affliction and my homelessness,
the wormwood and the poison.
20 I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
21 Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
24 I say: The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in Him (Lam. 3:19-24).
Friend, one of the glories of the sun coming up this morning, just like it did yesterday, is that it is a reminder of God’s daily mercies that never change. We can count on them, and we need to, for we can know that God will today, again, extend us what we need from His hand.
2. Because He is the same as yesterday… again.
“God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Num. 23:19).
God is who He was who He shall be. And that’s very good news for us because it means that we are absolutely, irrevocably, one hundred percent secure in Him having believed the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is our Father, and He’s not the kind of Dad who is going to get angry and fly off the handle or someday decide He doesn’t want the responsibility of caring for all these children. He is as He always has been.
Much as we might want a little spice in our today, we most certainly do not want a God who likes to “change things up.” Thankfully, no matter what else might get turned over in our lives, we can always come back to the Rock that never changes.
3. Because no new temptation will seize me… again.
As surely as the sun will rise today, so also will temptation will come along with it. Probably before that same sun is fully in the sky. And you, like me, will feel the same old battle rage inside of you between the flesh and the spirit. It will, in the moment, feel exceptional. An exceptional temptation. An exceptional pull. An exceptional fight. But it’s in these moments when it is encouraging to see again the truth that there is nothing truly exceptional about this particular enticement:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
These things are true. They are as true today as they were yesterday as they will be tomorrow. And if these are some of the reasons why today is unexceptional, then surely we can spend a little of the energy we might otherwise spend wishing for some more excitement instead thanking God for the unexceptional wonders that come with being His child.