“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
James 4:14 (NIV)
‘Carpe diem’ is an aphorism usually translated ‘seize the day”, taken from a poem published in the Odes in 23 BC by the Latin poet, Horace. The ode says that the future is unforeseen and that one should not leave to chance future happenings, but rather one should do all one can today to make one’s future better. However, today in some circles, the meaning has been misconstrued to justify irresponsible behaviour—to live for the day and ignore all consequences. The adage in today’s world suggests living for the day, to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
As Christians should this be something we adhere to? Should we ‘seize’ the day? One dictionary definition of ‘seize’ offers the meaning as ‘to take by force or capture.’ Another states ‘to take immediate advantage’. Is this how we ought to approach each day—to grab and to grasp? In God’s word we are exhorted to give thanks in all circumstances (1Thessalonians.5:18). James 1:17 tells us: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” Each new day is a perfect gift from God. Let us accept it with gratitude and humility instead of grasping or seizing the day without a thought to the Giver.
Allow me to suggest the maxim should be ‘deo gratias’ which translates ‘thanks be to God.’ God’s accusation against the wicked is expressed in Isaiah 56:12, “‘Come,’ each one cries, ‘let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.’” Self-absorption blinds us to the greatness of our God. The apostle James describes the futility of man’s thinking in James 4:14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” God gives us life itself. “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4) Let us give our Father praise and thanks for each day by living it to His glory. Deo gratias!
Loving Father, thank you for each day you send – with you we are blessed with endless opportunities and joys each hour. Even through difficult times you are with us. We thank you for your amazing love.
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
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