J. R. Miller, “The Building of Character” 1894
“Give us today our daily bread.”
One secret of sweet and happy Christian life--is in learning to LIVE BY THE DAY. It is the long stretches which tire us. We say that “we cannot carry this load until we are eighty--or that we cannot fight this battle continually for half a century.” But really, there are no long stretches. Life does not come to us in lifetimes; it comes only a day at a time. Even tomorrow is never ours--until it becomes today; and we have nothing whatever to do with it--but to pass down to it a fair and good inheritance in today’s work well done and today’s life well lived.
It is a blessed secret--this of living by the day.
Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy--until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard--for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, quietly, patiently, lovingly, and purely--until the sun goes down. This is all the life which we really ever have--just one little day.
God gives us nights to shut down the curtain of darkness on our little days. We cannot see beyond--and we ought not to try to see beyond. Short horizons make life easier, and give us one of the blessed secrets of noble, happy, holy living.
We ought not to be content to live otherwise--than beautifully. We can live our life only once. We cannot go over life again--to correct its mistakes or amend its faults. We ought therefore to live it well. And to do this, we must make every day beautiful, as it passes. Lost days must always remain blanks in the records; and stained days must carry their stains. Beautiful days make beautiful years, and beautiful years make a beautiful life!
“As your days--so shall your strength be.”