Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Bob Dylan sang about the times a-changin’. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the propensity of people to worry. In Matthew 5-7, we are given the most famous collection of Jesus’ teaching, which includes a section on the age-old issue of worry.
We worry. Bills, the job, the kids, our spouse, our favorite team, holiday shopping season, the mysterious rattle in our car . . . I would list all the things we worry about, but I’d be too worried to miss one. We worry. When the present doesn’t give us enough to sweat about we fret about hypothetical future situations and all the ways they might play out.
And that is what Jesus is challenging here. Why pile trouble–especially when a vast majority of the things we worry about never even come to pass!–when each day has plenty of challenges to be conquered.
And, even more importantly, we must consider what worry represents: a lack of trust. We worry about what we cannot control–which is pretty much everything. But if you take that a step further, we worry about what we cannot control because we only trust ourselves. In this message, Jesus is there talking to the gaggle of folks listening, but He is also speaking to present-day hearts, standing before them and saying, “I am in control.”
Until we take Him at his word, we will worry. About everything. The car, the kids, the future and what lurks behind the dense ever-present fog.
Or we can accept that this is God’s world and not ours. We can accept that good things happen and bad things come our way, and all we can ultimately control is our reaction to these things. We can work hard, love well, and do the best we can with the gifts we’ve been given, and trust that God’s purposes will prevail; it will all go according to plan–whether we understand the plan or not. And with this mindset, we can breathe and relax and enjoy this brief jaunt through life.
We can live as Bob Marley sang, “Don’t worry, about a thing, because every little thing’s gonna be all right.” If this is God’s world, and hence even our very “endings” are in His hands, truly every little thing will be all right for all eternity. So let us live, work, and rest with that in mind and heart.