"Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
I have seen attributions to Charles Dederich (1913-1997) and to Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) for that phrase. It likely was Dederich, as reported by the Washington Post (December 10, 1978, p. C5).
Once more, I have great time on my hands on vacation, and that was the thought that popped into my head this morning. When I did a tiny bit of research on Hoffman and Dederich, I found out that both of them struggled with very intense things in life - Hoffman died as an apparent suicide; Dederich struggled with substance abuse through a large portion of his life.
The quote reminds me of Philippians 3:12-13 - ...I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)
Maybe it is a part of the New Year's resolution mindset which is still present two whole weeks into 2008, or maybe it is that birthday introspection stuff, but in the end, I keep coming back to basics - today, I have an opportunity to cultivate a relationship with the Creator God of the Universe, who loves me enough to sacrifice Himself on my behalf. What greater pursuit could there be?
When I was 40, I never would have guessed where my life would be now - but I got to this place through a series of one-day-at-a-time decisions, attempting just to follow what I knew to be truth that day. There is a lot of forgetting that I have done, and there will likely be many more things as the years pass that I will desire to forget. But, today is the first day of the rest of my life, and by grace alone, I have opportunity to forget and to press on. God help me to do that.