PRINCIPLE: “When thinking of tomorrow, focus on today.”
It would be a long walk down to the falls, but we had been told it was well worth it. So we parked the car and began the trek down towards the falls. And it was long – and it was worth it! All along the way were beautiful views of God's majestic creation.
After spending a fair amount of time soaking in the beauty, and snapping plenty of pictures, we began the journey back to the car. After just a few steps it dawned on us – if it was all downhill to get here, it will be all uphill to get there! It's amazing how such a thought flavors the whole climb back! Once we realized it, the trek seemed harder and longer – and the beauty didn't seem quite so glorious. Our conversation lessened and, in fact, became a series of “Are we there yet?” queries. To make matters worse, we kept looking ahead, up hill, to see how much further we had to go – not a good idea! The end never seemed to be in sight. We finally concluded that the best strategy was simply to watch our current steps, to focus on one step at a time, and let the parking lot, in a sense, come to us. It certainly gave new meaning to 'on step at a time.'
Jesus taught the same lesson. In the Sermon on the Mount, after assuring his hearers of His Father's continual, adequate, loving care He said “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” If we believe in and trust our Father's loving care, then we need not worry or fret about tomorrow and what is to come. So “When thinking of tomorrow, focus on today.”
Jesus was not saying that we should never makes plans or provisions for tomorrow; He was saying that we should never let those plans and provisions rob us of seeing and grasping the opportunities of today; we should not become so absorbed in planning and providing for tomorrow that we fail to handle the stresses and challenges of today. So “When thinking of tomorrow, focus on today.” It makes me wonder how many times, under the guise of 'good time management', I've missed opportunities to give and receive love. It makes me wonder how often, under the illusion of being a good planner, I've failed to see or seize an opportunity that could have been life changing, for me and others. I wonder about all the stresses and challenges that have frustrated and sometimes even defeated me – could I have been been better prepared to handle them if, instead of looking up the hill to come, I had simply been taking one step at a time?
I'll never know. That's all in the past. I can't change any of it. But I can change how I live today. I just need to remember that the next step is most important; so focus on it. I can make some plans and provisions for tomorrow, but unless I take one step at a time today, I will interrupt and undo all those plans and provisions I made yesterday for today. As someone once said, 'Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!” Perhaps you, too, will approach today differently. “When thinking of tomorrow, focus on today.”