A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Staring Into the Rear-view Mirror

Posted on: January 26, 2015

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Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery; today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

~ Unknown

For some of us, the high school or college years seem to have been the best time of our lives. We had fewer responsibilities and worries about family, health issues, bills, and so on. Maybe it’s more that we had dreams, hopes and plans that we knew would be realized in the future or that we liked who we were back then.

I know that I had certain educational and career goals; maybe I was also a bit quicker to forgive, less guarded, more optimistic. Not everything turned out the way I planned, and in nostalgic moments, that bothers me.

Those who, like me, can get caught up in the past could take a cue from these words of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, quoted in the “Celebrate January 2015” column in the January/February issue of Catholic Digest:

When we yield to discouragement or despair it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future.

Do we focus too much on our regrets—the goals and dreams we didn’t achieve—and on the people we were rather than appreciate the ways we’ve succeeded and how much we’ve grown? Do we worry too much about whether we’ll get where we want to go?

We need to remember two things. First, whatever we may plan, God has his own plans for us—good plans—as he reminds us in Jeremiah 29:11*:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

And second, as Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:31-35, worrying about the future is futile, for everything is in God’s hands and each day has cares enough of its own:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

When we find ourselves dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, may we pray that God would show us his will for us today, guide us in his plans for our tomorrows, and care for us as our Father always.

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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