Way back in 1983, I was spending the night in a spare bedroom at my grandmother’s in northwest Houston, Texas, when Hurricane Alicia roared through town and sent a large oak tree crashing into the side of the 1,100-square-foot, three-bedroom house.
Although the powerful storm included winds up to 115 mph, killed 21 people, and caused a reported $2.6 billion in damage before it was through, I slept through the whole thing.
Never heard a sound; did not lose a minute’s sleep.
If only I could ride out life’s everyday storms as easily.
In Matthew 6:34, it says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Boy, ain’t that the truth.
There’s an old saying you may have heard before that goes something like this:
If you’ve got one foot in tomorrow, and the other foot in yesterday, you are, uh – let’s see how to put this delicately – urinating all over today.
I am the king at regretting the past and worrying about the future, while forgetting to enjoy what is the only thing right in front of me – today.
As ridiculous as it may sound, I can lie awake at night, rehashing decisions I made and things I did from not only last week or last month, but 40 years ago, turning these things over and over in my mind, beating myself up over such ridiculousness. On the flipside, I also can spend hours agonizing over tomorrow’s upcoming events, even though 90 percent of the things I worry about will never happen anyway.
Sheesh. It’s hard to be me sometimes.
Matthew 6:25-27 advises: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
If hours could be added to my life through worrying, I’d be Methuselah. You know, the grandfather of Noah, who is said to have lived for 969 years.
Life is not fair, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes good things happen to bad people, which really isn’t fair.
Ecclesiastes 9 has some pretty darned good words of wisdom about all this.
“Anything can happen to any of us, and so we never know if life will be good or bad. But exactly the same thing will finally happen to all of us, whether we live right and respect God, or sin and don’t respect God. Yes, the same thing will happen if we offer sacrifices to God or if we don’t, if we keep our promises or break them.
“It’s terribly unfair for the same thing to happen to each of us. We are mean and foolish while we live, and then we die. As long as we are alive, we still have hope, just as a live dog is better off than a dead lion. We know that we will die, but the dead don’t know a thing. Nothing good will happen to them—they are gone and forgotten. Their loves, their hates, and their jealous feelings have all disappeared with them. They will never again take part in anything that happens on this earth.
“Be happy and enjoy eating and drinking! God decided long ago that this is what you should do. Dress up, comb your hair, and look your best. Life is short, and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle through life on this earth. Work hard at whatever you do. You will soon go to the world of the dead, where no one works or thinks or reasons or knows anything.
“Here is something else I have learned:
“The fastest runners
and the greatest heroes
don’t always win races
Wisdom, intelligence, and skill
don’t always make you healthy,
rich, or popular.
We each have our share
of bad luck.”
So there you go.
Get out there and do your best, one day at a time. Yesterday is gone; tomorrow has not arrived.
All we really have is today.
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