Some of you may be familiar with the words and the tune to “One Day at a Time.” It was written by Kris Kristofferson and Marijohn Wilkin. Previously recorded by other female vocalists it actually reached No. 1 on the country music charts in 1980. It was performed by Cristy Lane. (Just in case you have no clue what I am referring to you can search YouTube and see a video of her singing the song.)
It is one of those sweet, soothing melodies with words that remind us that even though there are big issues and little issues happening around us, we can only focus on what is immediately in front of us. We are only capable of taking care of today’s business.
I was thinking about that as Margaret and I trek through the wilderness of police and insurance investigations, buying a new car, waiting to find out what we do with a second wrecked car and getting expensive routine maintenance done on yet another car. (Thoughts on public transportation are dancing through my head like sugar-plum fairies – a nice dream but not very realistic for our situation…) The whole set of circumstances simply reminds me that I can only deal with what is in front of me at this second, minute, hour, and day. I cannot undo what happened a few moments ago, yesterday, or let alone almost two weeks ago. And I cannot worry about what tomorrow will have in store. This is the one day that I can manage, influence, and do my best to serve God to my fullest.
In The Gospel According to Matthew the author has Jesus delivering a long series of teachings called the Sermon on the Mount. At one point Jesus counsels the hearers to think about their priorities. Instead of prioritizing food, drink and shelter as the most important things, Jesus said that we should seek first the kingdom of God. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, stop worrying because there is enough to focus on for today…the kingdom of God.
You cannot add a single minute to your life with worry. You cannot affect the outcomes of tomorrow with worry. You cannot increase joy by worrying.
So handle what is in front of you with the best of your God-given talents and gifts all the while doing so as an act of bringing in His kingdom – that is to do so while sharing love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, patience, kindness, meekness, forbearance, humility…you get the picture. Because these tools will help you and me to experience more joy in our lives even in the midst of life’s overwhelming chaos!
So what are you worrying about that happened yesterday? Today? Or might happen tomorrow? How about finding opportunities to share God’s love and grace, mercy and forgiveness? I think joy will show up if you do so because really you can only live one day at a time.
Blessings for the journey.