Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. I was 14 or 15 when I first read that passage from Matthew 6, and it stuck with me so forcefully that I clipped it from whatever youth group handout I had found it in and posted it on the cork bulletin board in my bedroom.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. For many of us, these are terrifying times. We get mixed messages from our elected officials and mean-spiritedness in the public square. Playing fast and loose with the truth is commonplace. This is unsettling no matter your political agenda. Key government positions are filled by those whose main qualifications are wealth and connections. Money’s influence in politics is made plainer than usual. Decisions are made to score points, or to get back at the other side, rather than to truly serve the people. Games are played instead of serving the common good.
I’ve been watching too much news and spending too much time wondering who benefits from this chaos. I see conspiracy and ruin everywhere. The slightest conflict gets me internally screaming TIME FOR SOME GAME THEORY. I have stress dreams about public figures.
I had a dream last night about Jeff Sessions which I take as a sign that I really need to go on retreat.
— Margaret Felice (@margaretfelice) May 12, 2017
I try to imagine other people’s schemes and machinations, which goes against my straightforward nature. I try to be someone I am not, and I become even more stressed. I get sucked into the weak satisfaction of complaining about how things are. My mind is full of maneuvers and speculation, and I often forget to make room for more positive, productive thoughts.
Can any of you, by worrying, add a single moment to your life? Don’t worry doesn’t mean stop working. It means clear your head and focus on the task in front of you. It doesn’t mean to ignore injustice, but rather to fight with integrity, knowing who I am, rather than letting the bad behavior of others make me go against my instincts and my conscience.
It is hard to trust in God during crisis. We think that Gospel stuff is reserved for simpler times. But this message of detachment is as true in rain or sunshine. It is our job to learn to promote the light without being swept up in the darkness, to face the evil of the day without letting it infiltrate our hearts. It’s only the light that can motivate me to keep going, only the light that can see me through.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for the day is its own evil. – Matthew 6: 25-34