Do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? Me neither. All we have is today. So what will you do with it? Will you bemoan the fact that tomorrow is unknown, or will you get on with life’s purpose?
I’ve started reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It has been over twenty years since I last read this book, but I remember the story as if I just read it. Even in fiction there are always hints of truth, and this book is no exception.
The book begins with the main character, Edmond Dantes, coming into some of the great fortunes life has to offer. He just got promoted. He is about to marry the woman of his dreams. For him, life is going great. On the day of his wedding, soldiers come to arrest him on false charges. He is sent to an island prison having received no trial. All the good in his life is suddenly gone with no explanation.
It reminds me of Job in the Bible. A good life, a good family, and well-respected in the community. He couldn’t ask for anything more. But on a whim, or rather a wager between God and Satan, everything is taken from him. Everything is not an understatement here. His wealth, his health, and even his family is gone. Everything that man would place value in has been taken from him. Satan believes that Job only follows God, because he has been blessed. Satan thinks if God takes away the blessings, Job will curse Him. The average man would do so. Job does not. He stays faithful until the end.
In my life, I have gone through some enormous trials. Some of them, I did not think I would ever survive. None of them were on a scale with an Edmond Dantes or a Job, but all of them in their own way taxed me mentally, physically, and spiritually. In Dumas’s book, Dantes survives his internment, becomes a better man, and eventually finds his justice. In the Bible, Job escapes his trials and goes back to the good life. Could I do that if all were taken from me? Could I not curse God if I lost health, wealth, and family? I don’t know. I have never been tried on that scale.
The little trials make us stronger. They prepare us for an uncertain future where the possibility for even greater trials exist. We don’t know what lies in the future, or whether the portents are good or ominous. Since the future has not yet come to be, it does us no good to be anxious about it. We will cross that bridge when we get there. What we have now is today. Here, we can live immediately.
The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.