The Prodigal Me
Keeping, Not Keeping

The New Old Day

“Every morning we enter a new day,” says Sally Lloyd-Jones.  "Who knows what the day will bring? God knows. . . . He has already gone ahead of us into the new day.”

But it doesn’t always feel that way, does it?  Sometimes it looks like more of the same thing.  When I drive to work, I travel the same road, stop at the same traffic lights, sometimes even pass a few of the same cars going in.  And then I do a little quick math in my head . . . “let’s see now, 31 years of work, averaging 48 weeks of work annually, times five days a week, so that’s 7440 trips down that road, under those lights,” I say to myself, with a sigh and a new gray hair.  It becomes difficult to look at that as new each day.  Yet it is.

The woman in the car next to me at the light is applying makeup.  I look straight ahead, feeling that I have intruded.  On the other side a Hispanic men smokes, tanned arm propped on the door, the smoke appearing and then, caught by the breeze, disappearing.  Ephemeral, passing, a vapor — that’s what it feels like.  The light turns green, and a man is crossing in the crosswalk in front of six lanes of traffic, and I feel impatience rising from the radiators of the cars, hands itching for the horns.  But he passes.  We motor off, leaning into the curve, into the day.

I’m carrying all the things I have to do today at work with me.  I mean figuratively.  They rumble around the cabin, weigh on my mind and, worse, keep me from attentiveness to the immediate.

But God knows, she says. “In the morning we can put our day in his hands. And let him bring into our day whatever he has for us.”  I tack a little verse with a big message on my windshield (figuratively), the one that says “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will go personally ahead of you. He will be with you” (Deut. 31:8, NLT).  I imagine it hanging there, me straining to see the day through it.  And I steal a glance at my passenger seat and imagine Him there and, inexplicably, almost reach over. Silly.

I do reach over and turn the radio on.  But then I turn it back off.  I begin to tell him about my day, but he’s ahead of me.  I tell him anyway.  I gather all the words and put them in his hands.