Have you ever heard someone say “Today’s a gift, that’s why we call it the present.” I’m sure we all have. The phrase, almost overused and definitively a cliche is meant to give inspiration and invoke gratitude in the listener. I would like to argue that this phrase can mean so much more and yet doesn’t encompass the greater meaning of Christian gratitude as some people expect.
First, let’s look at the phrase. Yes-I will not argue that today is a gift from God. That is biblical supported both positively and negatively, through many Psalms and Matthew 6 where Jesus tells us to worry about the day at hand, not tomorrow. However, yesterday was a gift too, and tomorrow will be a gift. And your family is a gift. Even your own breathe of life is a gift from God. Though I enjoy the fact the phrase encourages gratitude, the thankfulness should be expanded past the “present.”
Second, present is a manmade term, not something of God. Time is manmade. Many items defined in the Bible from God incorporate more than a present sense of reality. They include all senses of time. And they include all aspects of your livelihood. For example…when discussing resurrection. Christians state in the Apostle’s Creed we believe in the “Resurrection of the Body.” But how many people ACTUALLY believe that. I know I do… and I am so excited about God for that. But N.T. Wright in his book Surprises By Hope talks about the Biblical interpretation of a bodily resurrection and this is far beyond the contemporary concepts of what heaven & hell are.
So next time you think of the present as a gift, remember there are far many more things to be thankful for of a God who is without end and undefinable by human standards. God bless be the Creator and Ruler of All!