I am writing these words on the morning of Super Tuesday as voting is beginning.
As Americans in fourteen states cast ballots for presidential candidates, I predict that Bernie Sanders will sweep California and go on to a resounding victory across the country, making his nomination all but inevitable.
Or, I predict that Joe Biden will win enough delegates in Texas and the South to make himself a genuine second candidate if not the frontrunner.
Or, I predict that Elizabeth Warren wins enough delegates in Massachusetts and elsewhere to continue in the race as a liberal alternative to Sanders.
Or, I predict that Michael Bloomberg’s national campaign structure and massive spending will make him a viable candidate alongside the others.
Or, I predict that none of the above will happen.
We will know more tomorrow, obviously. That’s the way life works in our tri-polar world: we remember the past, prepare for the future, and live in the present.
God’s word encourages all three.
Living in our tri-polar world
Moses wrote Deuteronomy in large part to remind the Jewish people of their past so they could choose to serve and follow God in the present. The book of Revelation was given in large part to encourage God’s people that the future would bring deliverance from persecution and the glorious reign of Jesus.
But Jesus, while urging us to learn from the past and prepare for the future, consistently calls us to serve him in the present. Luke 9:23 is his word to us: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (my emphasis).
This is because today is the only day there is. We live our lives as if they were a movie reel composed of frames. This moment is the present frame. The previous frames led to this moment, which leads to the next. But this is the only day there is. “Yesterday” is a memory; “tomorrow” is a hope; but “today” is a reality.
Helen Mallicoat wrote one of my favorite poems:
I was regretting the past
And fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“My name is I AM.” He paused.
I waited. He continued,
“When you live in the past
With its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I was not there.
My name is not I WAS.
“When you live in the future
With its problems and fears
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.
“When you live in this moment,
It is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM.”
What happens with today’s Super Tuesday primaries will significantly affect the presidential race and our country’s future. What happens with today’s opportunities for obedience to Jesus will significantly affect eternity for him and for us.
What does “take up your cross daily” mean for you today?