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Hope: Lessons from a Hummingbird

by William Cuccia

The other day I woke up to just one word. "Today." Yep, that's it, "today." In my mind as I was waking up was the word, "today." It was a bit startling at first. I thought, "What was that, and what about today?" I still don't remember much about that morning and why I heard that single word to start my day, but I've learned a lot recently about "today." That word has stuck with me and I keep learning more lessons about "today."

This chapter is one of those chapters in a book where people say if you're going to read one chapter make sure it's this one. I guess that's what I'm saying (but my hope is you'll read the entire book). Read this with an open mind and ask yourself the question, how significant is today? Or, why is today important?

You've heard the saying, "All we have is today." I believe that more now than ever. I heard a sermon once where the pastor used the analogy of driving a five-speed sports car to illustrate the stages of life. When we're in our twenties, it's like we're in first gear. It seems like we're never going to get going. Then, when we reach our thirties, we move into second gear. We pick up a little speed but we still haven't got it going yet.

In our forties we move into third gear and begin to feel the wind on our face and the potential of the power we have at the wheel. Fifty comes along, and we are just speeding along in fourth gear and everything we pass by is like a blur. Time passes quickly and we think, did I miss something important along the way? I don't know because I haven't hit sixty yet, but I know fifth gear will allow me to just cruise along and hopefully I'll have learned by then the beauty of enjoying a smooth ride. I can see myself in a nice comfortable car with the wind blowing across my face just loving the ride. Taking in the beautiful scenery along the way.

So how do we adjust from decade to decade? Many of us baby-boomers suffer from living the dream that never becomes a reality, and we miss out on the "joy of today." We say, when I get that job then I'll be able to enjoy my life. Or maybe that promotion, or when I get married, or for that matter when I get divorced. (More people are getting divorced today than are staying married, thinking that’s the answer to all their problems how sad is that?)

The grass always looks greener on the other side. Recently I have come to the conclusion that today is here and it's here to be lived to its fullest. That's the heart of God when it comes to understanding the potential of today. Today is a gift from God for all of us to enjoy. Oh, I may not have all the money I want (or think I need) or the house and car I want, but today is really all I have and there is so much life in today.

Each day has enough for us to think about and experience without looking back to the past or looking ahead to the future. Don't get me wrong, I have goals and dreams like everyone else, but I'm learning not to allow the goals or the dreams to interfere with the joy of the moment that's alive in today. Slow down, yes, slow down. With all the technology we have at our fingertips, we have the power to move extremely fast through this life.

In reality there's some thirty-somethings who already have the gearshift in fifth gear and have the "pedal to the metal." Slow down! Lesson one to experiencing all that today has to offer is to slow down. What do I mean by that? I'm practicing the fine art of taking time to listen to what people are saying to me. There is so much to be learned from today. Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about yesterday, tomorrow or some unimportant care that I miss out on what people have to offer me. Here’s a cliché from my generation that has been so overused that the truth of the statement has lost it power, as you read this cliché slowdown and let the truth of it sink in. Ready, “stop and smell the roses.”

About William M. Cuccia, author of HOPE: Lessons from a Hummingbird

William Cuccia has spent more than 30 years in education and public speaking. As a pastor, he ministered in Canada, Japan, Cambodia, The Czech Republic, France and Mexico. Later he became a corporate sales trainer and, presently, he is a chief financial officer for a company in Southern California, where he continues to speak at a number of churches. He is co-founder of Hands Helping Hands, a non-profit corporation that helps support other non-profit organizations.

A songwriter and an artist, he and his wife Nan live in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

For more information, please visit: www.hopebooktoday.com.

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