In one of his majestic speeches, Martin Luther King Jr. began with these words, “We have…come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.” As far as King was concerned, there was not a moment to lose. Injustices had been suffered by minorities in America for too long. The Civil Rights Movement could not wait; discriminatory wrongs needed to be righted immediately.
It is easy for us to miss the urgency of now. I’m not talking about the pressure that comes from deadlines—the world is good at reminding us not to put off what must be done today. The library books are due; the bills must be paid by the first of the month; the kids have to catch the school bus by seven; we must get to work by eight; the doctor’s appointment is on Friday, the hair appointment on Monday. Constantly we are being told that mundane tasks are important. They must be done today.
Spiritual matters seem to fall behind the bills and deadlines at work. God isn’t issuing specific deadlines, so we don’t feel a sense of urgency when it comes to moral obligations.
Or is He? Doesn’t the Bible warn that the days are uncertain and that we should be prepared for the coming of the Lord? In Mark 13:32-37 Jesus says,
But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.
Paul echoed these sentiments, saying, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
Don’t miss the urgency of now. Too many people focus on the past, reliving achievements and triumphs that are no longer relevant. Others hope for action in the future, procrastinating until then what should be done today. Do what you can today. There is no reason to put off things till tomorrow.
Benjamin Franklin observed, “One today is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming.” That is sound advice. Are you satisfied with the condition of your spiritual life? Would you like to become more like Jesus in your attitudes and conduct? There’s no time like the present. Why not start today?