Society places a weighty amount of pressure on women to succeed on many levels — this involves both personal and family success as well as social and professional success. Today, many Christian women necessarily fill multiple roles, each one vying for her attention and interest. If she's smart, she'll recognize that today's responsibilities do not define her life as a whole. Life can change in an instant, and often does. This realization, coupled with trust that God is at work in her life (Philippians 2:13), helps a woman embrace the moment without becoming discouraged that the current circumstances are unchangeable (Romans 8:28).
There is something to be said for getting into the rhythm of your days. Viewing all of life as worthwhile, with its seemingly few and far between glamorous moments along with its more mundane ones, grounds us in reality and prepares us for the future. Everything we do in the next twenty-four hours prepares us in some measure for the road ahead. Whether we long for greatness in some obscure professional field or simply hanker to excel at gardening, matters little. Our focus, our intent, must be on giving our all and living in the moment of today, using the opportunities that God gives us, in whatever direction we turn our attention.
Sadly, countless women spend precious time wandering mentally into tomorrow's unknowns — both the worries and the wishes. This feeds their feelings of discontent and eventually overrides their good sense. That's why Jesus warned us, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34 TNIV). It is not that setting goals and pressing ahead toward growth, improvement and God's intentions for us are wrong (Philippians 3:12-14). But, we can get so pre-occupied with the future — by worry and by wishing — that we lose sight of today's good and the opportunities God provides for us to grow, achieve, and change.
Yes, today's difficulties can take a toll. Still, armed with the right outlook, women can use hardships as stepping-stones toward future opportunity and success (Philippians 4:13). It's all in the viewpoint and the end goal. Learning to take everything in its turn enables women to invest in this day's work while eyeing hopeful possibilities and God's opportunities. Author David Ireland reminds us that as we seek to live fully on this given day, "... the destination seems nearer and the view is more picturesque." It is possible to be totally present in the now and still have a vision for tomorrow. It is!
The enemies of being totally present in the day and having a vision for tomorrow, along with some spiritual counter-measures:
- Exhaustion — spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical: take care to daily balance work and rest, seeking God's renewing presence.
- Purposelessness — spiritual, personal and profession: dream big and then make practical plans always seeking to honor God.
- Unreasonable expectations — worrying about uncontrollable outcomes: be satisfied with doing the best you can and trust God to be at work in your life.
- Shortsighted Perspectives — feeling alone and helpless: with God, today's shortfall isn't the last or final word.
- Selfishness — wishing for something else: discipline yourself to look beyond your own wants/needs/desires and think of the way God has blessed you and can use you to bless others.