The urgency of now

Published 8:41 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2019

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Remember when December 2018 was here, and we were looking forward to the new year? The new year is now.

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.” These are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presented on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned with the Vietnam War. The title of the speech was “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”

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Exactly one year to day of his death, Dr. King declared the “urgency of now.” Dr. King’s words are applicable today not because of a war in Vietnam but because of an inner press that cries out “NOW.” You know what I mean if you were anxious about the new year and now, it is here.

Now does not know how to be silent. She screams like an excited parent at a Parks and Recreation game of Suffolk Lil’ Dribblers. Now is persistent. People deny her entrance saying she is too aggressive and anything that insists so relentlessly is not the way of our Heavenly Father. Really? Perhaps you have never read the words of 2 Corinthians 6:2 that reiterates the prophet Isaiah’s declaration. He says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor,

now is the day of salvation” (NIV).

And the book of Luke teaches us that if Jesus is with you, then the kingdom of God is now. So, tell me, how could skeptics say it is not God’s way to persist when the Holy Spirit cries, “Now is the time”? Now is surely an agent from heaven’s throne who insists we not procrastinate but empowers us to do God’s will before it’s too late.

The voice of Now was likely the reason Dr. King became a civil rights activist. He was a Now Pusher for sure. The word “now” appears in each of Dr. King’s speeches. In Civil Rights marches, people carried signs behind him with words displaying “Equal Rights Now” and “First Class Citizenship Now.” Protestors chanted their song “What do we want? Freedom. When do we want it? Now.” Now is an enforcer. She is demanding and heavy-handed. Truth be told, you’re lucky if she is hounding you. You have things to do and she cannot depend on you to make up your mind when to begin, because you will fall behind. The reason you have to deal with her is because you asked for her. You prayed for her assistance and she arrived on the scene screaming your name like a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. She is a pursuer. And whether you like to admit it or not, you need her.

If you think too long, you might think wrong. Now continues after you, telling you what to do and when to do it. Now is a fan of check-off lists and honey-do notes, too. She holds you accountable. She gets you out of bed in the morning with her own reveille call, and she does not allow you to play small. Her job is to lead you to achieve the Master’s plan for you. He is a big God with a big view, and He loves you right now.

Stop listening to the lies that say what you can and cannot do today. Do not let another person dictate God’s plans for you. There are some times and opportunities that you will never get back. Do not focus your ability on what you lack. Focus on what you have and what productivity helps you gain. Tomorrow will not be the same as today. Now is your opportunity. A year from now, you will wish you had started today.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.