Psalm 89; 2 Kings 17:24-41; 1 Cor. 7:25-31; Matt. 6:25-34
“Today’s trouble is enough for today.” We spend so much time borrowing trouble from tomorrow–or more accurately, from tomorrows that may or may not happen. Tomorrow, after all, is like Schrödinger’s cat: maybe alive, maybe not, who can tell until you open the box? Maybe the problems I dream up for tomorrow will come to pass, maybe I’ll waste my time entirely and miss the real issues, which will T-bone me unawares because I’m focused on the wrong thing entirely. Jesus is saying to be attentive today to what’s really happening around you right now, to address what you can here in this present moment, because tomorrow’s at best hypothetical. I don’t know what’s barreling around the curve of reality in 12 hours, and spending all my time worrying about what might be up ahead in the dark keeps me from enjoying, or fixing, what I’m handed in the here and now.
Worry, like fear, is a total waste of our time and energv. It squanders our present on might-have-beens and what-ifs. The human temptation to worry and fear is, however, totally universal. Which is proof of original sin, in my book: these totally useless, in fact counter-productive, urges are our universal first instinct when we face the world’s trials and uncertainties. They’re Satan’s first and best trick to us hapless humans: “Step right up, suckers, and squander the immense promise of your gifts by placing all your bets on a proven loser!”
Our first urge is worry, not prayer, even though prayer calms us and lowers our blood pressure and puts us in a frame of mind to see other options. Our first urge is to be afraid, which leads to fight or flight, even though most of the time neither fight nor flight will make things any different, or any better. That universal human urge, to which we’re all susceptible (guilty as charged) to waste our time and energy battling windmills instead of working on what’s right in front of our eyes, to freak out over things we have no control over instead of dealing with what’s really in our control–that’s the real temptation we all struggle with every day.
Take today and live it. Fix what’s broken in it: rejoice in what’s beautiful in it: learn from what’s challenging and improve what you can where you can. A better today will almost guarantee a better tomorrow! But let tomorrow take care of itself, friends. Because today’s worries are more than enough for today–why borrow more worry than you can afford?