I enjoy a good dad joke. Here’s one for you. One day I asked a friend what he was doing tomorrow; he said, “I’m getting some new glasses, and after that, I guess I’ll just see what happens.” Bad, I know, but it contains some great advice.
If you spend any time watching the news or on social media these days, you can get overwhelmed with hopelessness as you take in all of the brokenness and destruction in the world around us. That is why the words of Jesus in Matthew 6 are so appropriate to our day. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Here Jesus is reminding us that God is our provider, and he encourages us to be present in the moment and chase after things that truly matter.
Fear of what may or may not happen tomorrow creates anxiety for many of us, including me, at times. What will I do if there is another shutdown? How will I provide for my family? What will happen if the political party I disagree with gets their way? Or maybe your worries are a little closer to home, such as how you will pay your rent this month. Why would Jesus remind us to only worry only about today? Because the fear of what may or may not happen tomorrow can steal our ability to take advantage of what is happening today, right in front of us.
I have two adult daughters that decided to spend this summer at home. It has been a special treat to have them home. Still, my wife has had to wisely remind me that I need to be present in the moments I get to spend with my girls. I often need to fight my habit of being preoccupied with worries from work, undone projects around the house, or the myriad of other things that create anxiety for me.
It is easy to allow fear and anxiety to cause us always to be chasing after tomorrow instead of, as the Roman poet Horace said, “Seize the day.” As the reasons for worrying about tomorrow pile up, let me simply remind you: Don’t lose sight of what is right in front of you today.
The only way I can do this is by remembering that I have a Heavenly Father who has been faithful in the past, so I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. Instead of being anxious about tomorrow, I can use today to do the essential things like investing in the people around me and serving this God who gave everything so that I could know him.