Today Is the Best Day
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.
A A Milne, quoted in Mindfulness A to Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now
As disciples, we seldom realize that every day is special because we have been gifted this wonderful human life after going through numerous cycles of birth and death. How many of us wake up in the morning with a smile and look forward to experiencing what the Lord has in store for us today? “Today is my favourite day,” as Pooh exclaims with gratitude and excitement.
Who knows what might happen tomorrow? Why worry today when we can celebrate the little things of life. If somebody gives us a surprise on our birthday, it brings us joy because it is something we didn’t expect. Similarly, if we wake up to each day as though it were a surprise from the Lord, we would look forward to it with the same anticipation. If we give him our time and attention, we will experience his love.
There is a story about a young boy called Jason who could never live in the moment. Whenever he was in school, he dreamed of being outside playing. When he was outside playing, he dreamed of his vacation. He constantly daydreamed, never taking the time to relish the special moments that filled his days. One day, while lying down on the grass, he fell into a deep slumber and started dreaming. He suddenly woke up to a voice calling out his name.
Upon opening his eyes, he saw that a sweet elderly woman was staring at him from above and smiling. She was holding a shimmering blue ball of thread. This attracted him. She said it was the magic thread of life. She told him that if he pulled at it a bit, hours would pass in seconds. If he pulled a little harder, days would pass in minutes. If he pulled it with all his might, months – even years – would pass by in days. This made Jason very excited and he asked the old woman if he could have it. She gave it to him and disappeared.
After a few days when Jason was bored and once again daydreaming in class, he remembered the magic blue thread. Since he always wished for something new, he started to pull at it a bit. In a few seconds he found himself at home. He was still curious about seeing something new so he pulled at it harder. In no time, he was in the middle of a holiday. He was still not satisfied so he pulled with all his might and found himself transformed into a man who had a wife and children who loved him dearly. He still dreamed of having better things and could not live in the moment so he pulled again. He then saw himself as an old man with hair as white as snow. His wife had grown old and his children had left him and were leading their own lives in a different country. For the first time, he realized that he had not taken time to embrace the wonders of life. He had never enjoyed reading to his children nor taken a stroll in the garden. Instead he kept wondering what was next and hurried through the hours, days and years of his life.
He became sad and went for a stroll in the woods where he used to go as a boy and fell into a deep slumber. When he opened his eyes, he saw the woman again who had gifted him the magic thread. She asked him if he had enjoyed her gift. He said he never enjoyed it as his whole life had passed by and he never got a chance to cherish any moment. She felt pity for him so she decided to grant him a last wish. He asked her to send him back to the time when he was a boy so he could live his life all over again. Something happened and he returned to his deep sleep. He then heard a voice calling out to him. He opened his eyes and saw his young mother. She said to him, “Jason, you sleep too much, your dreams will make you late for everything.” Needless to say, he jumped out of bed and went on to live a full life, one rich with many delights, joys and triumphs. It all started when he stopped sacrificing the present for the future and began to live in each moment. It is said that “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
The gift of today is all about living in the moment. It leads to better feelings and optimism rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about tomorrow. The future is always uncertain and the past cannot be brought back, so we need to let it go. Master often explains that the purpose of life is to live in his will. By that he means that everything that is given to us is all from the Lord, and he knows best what we need. Relishing the gift of simran and bhajan in the present is better than delaying it to the next day because we never know what will happen tomorrow. We often taste the experience of simran but we seldom savour it.
A poem called Leisure by W.H. Davies explains how important it is to be grateful for the present and take time to experience the beauty of life:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep or cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.