“Give us this day………”  Matthew 6:11

“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Matthew 6:34

Do you have enough money set aside for retirement?  There’s a storm coming in five days.  Who will win the debate that is coming in two days?  I’m worried about who is going to be the next President.  Will the stock I purchased today go up or down?  I better get the job I want because I’m going to college and working hard on my degree.  Are we leaving a better tomorrow for our children?

We (or at least I) think a lot about the future.  We make detailed plans about what we are going to do and/or even sometimes say, in the future.  Sometimes the future we’re considering is a day from now; sometimes, the future we’re planning for is decades from now.  We often predicate our actions today based on a desired future outcome.  Children now a days are being told to pick the sport that they want to excel in during high school or college and start to train and strive for when they are as young as 10 years old!

So is the gist of this that I’m anti-plan?  Am I inferring that to think about tomorrow is some sort of sin?  Hardly.  Jesus is in the midst of giving some of His most important teachings about how we’re to live.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew is recording Jesus’ sermon on the mount.  Jesus has given the blessed beatitudes, taught about salt and light, anger, giving, lust and many more things.  Then He comes to prayer and shortly after that, worry.  So it is that Jesus Christ’s words reach out across the ages and come directly to us; to our hearts.  What His teachings also tell us today, is that the fundamental struggle that people have, has not and probably will not change over time.  They are as true today, as they were then and will be later.

My intention in this post is to point out how our fixation on time periods, like yesterday and especially tomorrow, are so impactful, often quite negatively so on the reality of today and what Our Heavenly Father is attempting to show us, bless us with, protect us from in the here and now.  For example, today I eat less, I forsake a desert and I do some extra exercising with the specific expectation that I will see a result tomorrow or the next day.  I even keep this up for a week or so, yet day after day, I see the exact same number on the scale after a week or two.  Because my expectation is not met, because my desire goes unfulfilled, I make judgement about the fairness of this world, I become fearful that the scale will never move.  What is happening today becomes some meaningless exercise in futility because my expectation, days ago of what the future tomorrow should be, doesn’t match the today I am actually experiencing.  In the above example, there would be some who would argue that the problem is not that I had an expectation but that my expectation was not accurate or reasonable.  And while I would grant a certain human logic to their argument for that example only, it seems to me that Jesus is warning us about judging the result of today versus our expectation for today in the first place; especially when it causes us fear and worry.

Yes Jesus did think about the future.  Yes Jesus did plan.  He told His disciples that He would die and rise again.  He told His disciples of His plan to go to Jerusalem to observe the Passover.  One must remember however, in a miracle to great to comprehend; Jesus Christ was God on earth and He knew the future.  We do not.

In writing about this it is not to say I don’t struggle with it.  I’ve written two books (if you’re thinking “Oh this whole post is just a sly way of marketing his books, please trust and understand that’s not the case 🙂 ).  I would like them to be a commercial success, although that is not my main reason for writing them.  So I do things.  I go to book events, I use social media, I have a website, I on and on…  Yet the books are not a commercial success, perhaps yet.  So am I to worry about them, be scared that nothing will come of them?  Being Christian themed, should I go back and change them to have a more worldly audience?  Whose will be done?

Dear Sisters and Brothers, it sure seems of course, Jesus had it right that he taught about prayer first and then worry.  In our prayer to our Heavenly Father, it certainly appears that today and primarily today is the time frame that matters.  Today our Father is in Heaven and I want His will to be done.  Today I have needs that require fulfillment.  Today I will need His forgiveness as well as to forgive others.  Today I will need to be turned away from temptation and delivered from evil.  Today Our Heavenly Father, who loves us, who created us, will see to us and our blessing.

Planning in and of itself is not a sin.  Plan to pray everyday.  Plan to love everyday.  Plan to ask Our Heavenly Father for things every day.  Even pray about tomorrow.  Yet know that tomorrow belongs to Our Heavenly Father who is already there.  The basic truth is, we can only ever be in today.  No matter how much we want to change something that has already happened; we can’t be there to do it.  No matter how much we believe that something should happen in the future, we can not go there to insure it happens.  You and I will always be only in today.  So remember Who it is that created today.  Let us strive to have our primary focus be today; His love that He is showering upon us today; His strength that He is pouring out upon us today; His mercy that He is forgiving us with today; His blessings that He has in store for us today.  I don’t know about you, but that is a day I want to be in.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we humbly admit that we can be in only one day, that is today; but that You created and are thus in control of all days.  Help us Most Merciful Father to focus on today and ways that we might abide in Your Son Jesus Christ to have this day be a blessing for us and that we might bless others.  Forgive us when we let worries of the future and regrets of the past distract us from what You would have us focus on today.  That in focusing on You this day and all of our “todays” we would live lives of praise to Your Most Holy Name.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

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