Well, I’ve written this week about ways for us to experience a more joyful life. Monday, it was to be content with our circumstances. Tuesday, I wrote that we should not dwell on the past. Today, Wednesday, brings way number three for us to return to a more joyful life.
3. Don’t Worry Or Fear About Tomorrow
Well this is definitely a big one. Perhaps more than dwelling on the past, we worry about tomorrow. We (at least I) get in such a tizzy sometimes about what might could happen if everything happened just right (or, worse, just wrong). We think about a particular potential event or problem, then we think about all the ways we could or should respond. We think, if this happens, I’ll do that and say this and pretend that and I’ll be able to minimize the negative and maximize the positive results. Our fear and worry sap the life out of us and kill our joy.
I often catch myself thinking about some arbitrary non-event happening and I have to kind of slap myself with a self-reminder that the particular event hasn’t occurred, likely won’t occur and really isn’t in my steps for today. Our worry over the things in the future, those things that may never and probably won’t ever happen, have a way of handcuffing our hands and feet today, paralyzing us on the journey before us. Even those things that probably will and do happen make us worry today, well before the actual event. Before we know it, tomorrow’s here and we’ve lost a little more time by stressing today.
Jesus knew who He was speaking to very well when He talked about worry in Matthew 6:25-34. I suspect, or rather, know, that He knew that we might have similar issues. He concludes His encouraging words against worrying about life, food, drink, our bodies and clothes with these words in verse 34 (NIV): “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Think about the things you worry about. Can you really change anything by getting a stomach ulcer fretting over the possibilities? Have you ever been able to change the future or prevent anything from happening? How many of the things that you’ve feared or worried about have actually come to pass? Relax, enjoy today, eat two cookies and call me in the morning.