By Robert Halsey Pine
“Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:12-19 NRSV).
Today is where we live. Today takes care of today. It has been said that tomorrow never comes, for we always live it as a today. What we do today prepares us for future todays, but we never actually live a tomorrow. Our yesterdays laid the groundwork for our today but they are gone. Our lives are always a today, and today is when we should be living out our salvation.
The huge concern in anticipation of the new millennium is a good example. The worry over Year 2000 computer problems because of the man-made glitch that failed to take all the zeros into account had people visioning planes dropping out of the sky in a “tomorrow.” The anticipated tomorrow came as a today and went without a significant mishap. This success occurred because people did what they needed to do in their today and didn’t put it off.
The Year 2000 thing approached being an “end-of-time” event. The store shelves were empty as people bought goods in preparation for the worst. There was a fear that money in the banks might be lost. No one wanted to be in the sky in an airplane when the clock ticked 12 a.m. The sense of urgency in survival was unprecedented.
The question then becomes, how are we to work out our salvation in our today? Are we willing to give it the emphasis that it needs today?
The Year 2000 dilemma worked itself out because people saw the urgency and worked it out in their today. Do we have the same sense of urgency about our relationship to God “today?” What will happen when the clock ticks 12 for us in the today that we treat as a tomorrow? Because we can only live in today, we don’t have the luxury of keeping “an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Tomorrow never comes, so we must “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ so that none of [us] may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Today is the day to become partners with Christ, for there is no tomorrow.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.