Life, one day at a time.


                                                    Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its
own trouble."                    --NKJV

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen
tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things
come up when the time comes."                --The Message


                                 Tomorrow's Trouble

I must confess. I was awake last night worrying about not being able
to get back to sleep. I had plans for today and insufficient sleep could
screw up the whole day. First by not getting up early enough, secondly
by not being able to stay awake till bedtime and thirdly, I hate being
tired and out of sorts all day. I didn't need to worry on the first count.
Bright and early around 6:30 my husband awakened me with the
nudge of his knee and asked, "How many balls and strikes do we get?"
He was talking in his sleep again!

So--Don't worry about tomorrow; today is enough to deal with. Could
it be!--we just might have something here from the lips of Jesus which
almost everyone believes to be true, practical, pertinent and useful.
Most people would have to admit they agree with Jesus on this one.

Speaking of disagreeing or questioning what Jesus said, let me go off
on a tangent here. I don't think Jesus minds when we want to debate
him. I think he rather likes to hear from us. And honesty is always a
valued asset to any dialogue. Jesus spoke from his heart and out of
his own experience. We are welcome to do the same. Just remember
that dialogue involves listening, too.

Take life one day at a time. It's a popular slogan. We have heard it
many times. God must have known it from the beginning. That's why
we have sunrises and sunsets, day and night. It was God's way of
dividing a lifetime into manageable segments.

In the classic 1938 movie, "Gone With the Wind," a very tired, haggard
yet determined Scarlet O'Hara put it this way, "Tomorrow is another
day." One day at a time is the way we deal with trouble, illness,
workloads, parenting, assignments, goals, you name it. Whenever you
take on a challenge, it helps to break it down. What is overwhelming
in its entirety, becomes doable in small steps. All of us can probably
attest to this.

For me and Russ, it was backpacking 180 miles on the historic C&O
Canal. It's a continuous path along the Potomac River from
Cumberland, MD to Washington D.C. We divided those miles into
14 days. We broke the days into morning, afternoon and early
evening, each punctuated by food and a nap on the picnic tables
along the trail. Dividing further, the mileage markers became a
stopping point to have a drink and shift the weight, and maybe pop
another piece of hard candy. When the days got long or wet, and
the packs heavy, we were literally walking only from milepost to
milepost. What number was the last post we passed? Do you see
the next one up ahead? We couldn't hike the trail end to end in
one day, but we could make it to the next mileage post.

Russ and I walked for different reasons, but we both agreed it
wasn't only the natural environment which we enjoyed. It was the
conversations we had and the people we met along the way. We
had no radio; we got our news and any tips we needed from the
other trail users. They thought we were amazing; we thought
they smelled so good.

So it is with life. We take on its challenges. Sometimes we feel like
whistling, other times we're weighted down with a heavy load.
Mostly we do the usual, we start and stop, we struggle with obstacles
then rest and refresh, we talk to friends and strangers to get the
happenings of the day. Little things brighten our days, and hopefully
someone will offer encouragement. Somehow we survive to tell
the story.

The past is over and done; the future always waits until tomorrow.
The present is what we have to work with today. Actually that's
not all; there is more. We have memories from the past and hopes
for the future, and sometimes these are the thoughts that get us
through the day. Today we can redeem the memories that need
healing. Today we can reclaim lost hopes and dreams.

There is trouble ahead. Jesus did not deny it. We all get our turn to
suffer and weep. Meanwhile, today is a day to be lived with God by
our side--moving mountains, assisting people, upholding values,
enduring drudgery, giving encouragement, sharing love,
everywhere spreading a healthy dose of good news. With all that
to do, who has time to worry about tomorrow!

 

Use the following questions for small groups, journaling, further
study or reflection.

 

Icebreaker: Give an example of a time when you worried about 
                   something there was no need to worry about.

 

This verse is the concluding statement in Jesus' teaching that started
with money and possessions and ended with anxiety and worry.
            What do you see as the connection between money and worry?
            Why would Jesus spend so much time on this subject?

 

As you were reading what Jesus said about worry, did you want to
argue some points with him?
            If so, what were they?
            What do you think Jesus' final word on this subject is?
                        To people in general?
                        To you in particular?

 

What are some things you could do to focus less on yesterday and
tomorrow, and focus more on living well today.
            What would make today a good day for you?
            Are there steps you could take to achieve the goal of having
                        a good day today?
            What could you do to make someone else's day good?

 

Are there some big things (maybe changes) looming in your future?
            How would you describe your attitude toward these future unknowns?
            Which is stronger--fear or faith?
             Is it possible to plan for the future without worrying about it?

 

Have you lived through a situation in which you had to deliberately tell 
yourself to live one day at a time?
            If you can, please share something helpful from that experience.

 

In an effort to lessen or eliminate fear and worry, did you ever "grip
the hand of Jesus"? [One time I was an unwilling partner on a scary
amusement ride. So I closed my eyes, put myself in the arms of Jesus
and, I tell you the truth, was quiet and felt the most amazing peace
throughout the ride!]
            I shared mine, what is your story?

 

School children know the importance of living one day at a time.
We learned it early. If we do what we need to do today,
tomorrow will be less stressful.
            Reflect upon what it is you could be doing today which just
                        might make tomorrow a better day for you.

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