Sometimes I feel like I am a real sentimental guy. There are days when I look at my boys (aged 5 and 3) while they are climbing on me, asking for hugs and running around, yelling in high pitched joy-filled voices that hurt my ears. At these times, I feel compelled to think about the future; the times when they are going to be quiet, the times I will have more time on my hands to take up the various projects I have in my mind, the time to sit quietly with my wife, maybe even bring her breakfast and coffee in bed. I get so far down that path of thinking that I start to feel sad and long for the past; the times when my kids did want me around, when they needed me, when we interacted all the time and the house was full of joyful noise.
What wondrous things our minds are! In those moments I am feeling nostalgic about the moment I am actually in, I am simultaneously not really taking advantage or appreciating the moment!
Jesus says we shouldn’t worry too much about tomorrow because today has enough worries. I guess people have always looked ahead at the cost of today. More often than not, this has had to do with worrying about the future. To take my kids as an example, I might worry if I am preparing them well enough to face the temptations and challenges they will surely face one day, and decide I haven’t and start to worry about various scenarios they may find themselves in. Or I might worry about how I am going to help them afford to go to university, or even whether or not I am managing to help them discover their own faith and relationship with Jesus. It can all be pretty suffocating.
While I am a huge fan of being intentional with our children and our lives, we also need to balance that with space for today.
I could write about time-saving tricks, money management keys (budget, budget, budget) and the need for margin in our lives. But what I want to write about is what Jesus has to say. He says not to worry about it, not because it will magically work out or because we are so good and clever we will figure it out when the time comes. No, he says we aren’t to worry about it because God loves us and plans to provide for us just as he always has and always will.
The serenity prayer is famous for a reason, and if you are feeling worked up or anxious today, perhaps you will want to say it, once or twice today.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”