Please enjoy this reprint of a reflection from July, 2020, with apologies to Alfred E. Neuman, renowned author of the above quote…
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
We all tend to speculate on the future. It is natural to do that. We plan, we dream, we hope that tomorrow is a better day. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that we need not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself. It will unfold no matter what we do. He basically said, stay in the present and don’t borrow against tomorrow’s possible problems.
When we have high anxiety, we want certainty and control. Anxiety does not like surprises, so we try to predict how tomorrow will be. The problem is that people who have high anxiety almost always predict that tomorrow will bring a terrible thing somehow. They brace themselves, I think with the concept, “expect the worst, hope for the best”. At least that way, they have some preparation for that future problem- they are prepared for it.
It is understandable to try to control everything we can. We even try to predict the future to prepare ourselves for possible pain. Of course, one of the problems with this thinking is that we rob ourselves of present joy- of living in the moment.
So, I think that we should control what we can control, recognize what we cannot control, and pray about the rest. In that same sermon, Jesus said this:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
I think these words, if we can really follow them, can help with anxious thinking. If we believe that God takes care of his lower forms of creation, surely he will care for us.
Prayer: Father, we trust your provision for us. The future is yours, our future is in your hands, Amen