Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, May 18

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
—Revelation 1:8

We are a people who believe in planning ahead. What if we get sick? Will our insurance cover the cost? What if we lose our job? Will we be able to cover our debts? What if, God forbid, we need some kind of long-term care? Will there be anything left to pay for that? Add our children’s college education and our own retirement to the mix, and we face a plethora of “what ifs.”

The future is risky, all right, and we approach it apprehensively with good cause: We do need to plan ahead. But the other side of that truth is that we sometimes become so caught up in the “what ifs” that we neglect to live our lives now.

Of all the spiritual disciplines that help us in exploring our inner lives, none is quite as crucial—or as difficult—as living in the now. Burdened by our pasts, and worried by a future that may be, we ignore the present as if it were merely a backdrop. Like the white noise machine in the doctor’s waiting room, it hums around us, not really getting our attention but simply buzzing in the back of our mind. Where we are going is something that merits our concern, we believe; where we are does not.

Jesus consistently taught that the Kingdom of God was among and between us, not off in the future somewhere. Perhaps we could learn what this means by looking at the life of Brother Lawrence, the 17th century French monk who spent most of his adulthood working as his monastery’s cook. For Brother Lawrence, every activity of his day—whether it was preparing meals or washing the dishes—was an opportunity to commune with the God who is timeless, who is eternally present in the now. 


O God, I pray that I, like Brother Lawrence, would make a chapel of my heart, finding you in all the present moments of my life.

The Signposts for May are written by Susan Hanson and originally appeared on in September 2004.