There in the desert they all complained to Moses and Aaron and said to them, "We wish that the Lord had killed us in Egypt. There we could at least sit down and eat meat. Exodus 16:2b TEV
Sam didn't hate his job. But it wasn't his favorite place to be either. By mid-afternoon he was watching the clock, anxious for closing time. And about the first of June he was counting the weeks until he would be leaving on vacation. Now that he had turned 55, he had begun counting the years until he could retire. Sam was living in the future.
The Israelites soon forgot that they had been slaves in Egypt. During their years of wandering in the wilderness, they remembered only the good things, grumbling about their present circumstances. And when they did reach the promised land, they were unhappy because they had to start working for their food. Then the wilderness years became the "good old days." The Israelites were living in the past.
Where we live geographically matters not so much as where we live in time. Today is all that we have. Today I can give a smile to someone who has none. I can bring a gift to share my plenty with someone who has little. I can push a crippled neighbor's wheelchair out into the sunshine. I can't do that yesterday -- and I may not be able to do it tomorrow.
Lord, help me to serve you well this day, this moment, which is your special gift to me. Amen