“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”Matthew 6:31-34
Several years ago I was sitting in the decked-out fishing boat of a friend. I commented about the convenience of having it and also how much pleasure it must bring him. “That’s all true,” he said. “But I find that having it demands a lot of my attention. I have to use it, or else it is wasteful to keep it in my garage. And I have to make sure that everything on and in it is kept clean and in good repair. Otherwise, it is just an expensive boat anchor.”
He was a new Christian, and I was impressed with how well he had sorted out his desire to serve God. He was transparent and honest about the way that stuff like his boat and his motorcycle demanded his resources, time, and attention. He would tell you that stuff is a false god that takes you away from the God.
In the long discourse about wealth, Jesus told the crowds of people that wealth and worry go hand in hand. Worry is the voice in your head that causes you to say, “Do I have enough food?” “What am I going to wear to that event?” In the world of money and finances, there is never enough. This is probably why Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.”
Such a prayer operates a lot like blinders on a horse. The horse is not distracted by things in his periphery. Taking a day at a time works in the same way.
Never in our history has been there such a lucrative business devoted solely to renting storage sheds to people. In most cases they are used to store all the junk we accumulate and can’t stand to think about giving away. We spend a lot of money per year just to store our stuff.
Our mailboxes are filled with catalogs that we peruse to see what is the next thing we can’t live without. And we are worried about debt, about keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, and how to finance the things we want. Worry is a constant companion.
Therefore, Jesus tells the crowds to live one day at a time. To pray for one day at a time. And to keep one’s want list as modest as possible. “Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Prayer: O God, you did not create us to worry. When we worry, we take our eyes off you and attempt to spend our way out of our anxieties – anxieties that often come from our relationship to wealth. Please help us to pray modestly, to concentrate on today, and to place our trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.