When I was younger there was a popular song that went something like this, "Time is on my side." Then the backup singers would chime in, "Yes it is, yes it is." Well I want to tell you that time is not on your side, no it isn't, no it isn't. If you don't believe it, look at your stomach. Everything is headed south. The fact is that you're on Golden Pond and your boat is sinking.
I heard about a clock that was advertised as the perfect gift idea. The digital clock, by punching in your age and your gender, would constantly remind you of how many years you could expect to live. It displays your running time (based on life-expectancy tables) in hours, minutes, and seconds. This clock would tell you exactly, down to the last second, how much time you have left. No it won't. No one knows how long he or she has left.
Whatever you need to do, you need to do it now. A boy and a girl returned to the girl's home after their first date. Standing at the front door, the boy asked nervously, "May I kiss you?" There was no reply. Again he asked, "Can I kiss you?" No reply. A third time, "Can I kiss you?" Still no reply. "Are you deaf?" said the boy. "Are you paralyzed?" the girl replied.
There are times when you just need to do something. Make an effort and decide to do it now — not later, now. A boat in a harbor is safe but over time its bottom will rot out. If you just sit — pardon the bluntness — your bottom is going to rot out. Get on with it. Your favorite song should not be Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. "One of these days" becomes none of these days.
A teacher asked her class what each wanted to become when they grew up. A chorus of responses came from all over the room. "A football player," "A doctor," "An astronaut," "The President," "A fireman," "A teacher," "A race car driver." Every one had answers except one little boy named Johnny. The teacher noticed that Johnny was sitting there quiet and still. So she said, "Johnny, what do you want to be when you grow up?" "Possible," Johnny replied. "Possible?" asked the teacher. "Yes," Johnny said, "My mom is always telling me I'm impossible. So when I grow up, I want to be possible."
Everything is possible today. Do it today. You can't promise you'll do it tomorrow, just say you'll do it today. Maybe you didn't do it yesterday, but you can do it today because today it is possible. Whatever you're struggling with, you can do it today. "Today I will be a great marriage partner." "Today I will not overeat." "Today I will not criticize." Whatever it is, you can do it today.
Make sure you understand the best way to live life is in the present. Take it a day at a time. You might have heard about the young clock. The young clock got a little stressed out. He began to think introspectively about how many times he had to tick. He had to tick two times for every second. That's 120 ticks per minute. Then he took it further, that's 7,200 ticks in an hour. That's over 172,000 ticks in a day and that's over 1.2 million ticks in a week. Overwhelmed by all the ticking, he became stressed and depressed. So he went to see the clock psychiatrist. He told him how many ticks he had to tick and wondered how he was going to do this. The clock psychiatrist rubbed his numerals and wisely asked, "Young clock, how many ticks do you tick at a time?" The clock responded, "Just one." The clock doctor said, "Then that is what you have to focus on. Tick one tick at a time or you'll be ticked off the rest of your life."
That's the way it is with you and with me. When I was growing up I sang one solo in church my entire life. I was eight years old and my dad was the pastor. A bunch of kids decided to sing a song and he let us do it. We sang It Is No Secret What God Can Do. After I finished, one church lady said, "It wasn't as bad as it sounded." That ended my singing career, but I remember the words to the song. "It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for others, He'll do for you."
It is possible. I don't know what your past is, I don't know what your future will be, but I can tell you with God's help, today is possible.
Charles Lowery is pastor of Hoffmantown Church, Albuquerque, N.M.