Today I preached about living in the moment. It was relative to the gospel passage of Matthew 6:24-34. Part of that passage reads as follows,
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today."
Imagine that – Today’s trouble is enough for today.
If I had a dime for all the worry that has passed under the bridge of my consciousness I would have enough cash to build a small empire. Recently I have learned from some people that I really love and respect that worrying about what might happen is a futile practice and counterproductive. And believe me that this lesson has been taught to me by people who are facing some pretty big problems. I have seen a load of courage over the years as people have faced great challenges. These days I spend my time learning from my father and my sister and her family how living for today is really such a wonderful idea. And make no mistake they are facing some really big issues. I mean bigger than, “what should I wear to the synod reception of Monday evening?” Bigger worries than, “what are others saying about me, or what do others think of me?” Sometimes I think we can generate and welcome worry where there is no need for it to even be invited to our lives in the first place.
Ultimately what Jesus says in this small bit of scripture is, we have no control over certain things. STOP worrying about changing those things. Instead let us focus our energy on doing the right things. Let’s focus our attention on this very moment and how we can be the best possible reflection of God’s light and love. Let us abandon the worry about what might happen tomorrow for the assurance that God is in this very moment helping us be effective creators and lovers right now. So I guess the point is – how can we be better in this moment? How can we love better in this moment? How can we be more generous in this moment? The novelist Dean Koontz puts it this way;
“Do as little harm to others as you can; make any sacrifice for your true friends; be responsible for yourself and ask nothing of others; and grab all the fun you can. Don’t give much thought to yesterday, don’t worry about tomorrow, live in the moment, and trust that your existence has meaning even when the world seems to be all blind chance and chaos. When life lands a hammer blow in your face, do your best to respond to the hammer as if it had been a cream pie. Sometimes black humor is the only kind we can summon, but even dark laughter can sustain.”
Laughter goes a long, long way. I thank God for the good laughs that we had last week together as family. In six short days we were able, together, to work well at living several really good wholesome and fun-filled moments and put aside all the worry about what tomorrow might bring. It felt really, really good.