Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? Matthew 6:27
Although my parents have both been gone for several years, I am just now going through some of their old boxes. In my father’s belongings, I found the essay below, hand printed, unsigned, entitled “One Day At A Time:”
“There are two days in every week about which we should not worry: two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word said…Yesterday Is Gone!
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow, with its possible burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds…but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This leaves only one day…Today! Any(one) can fight the battle of just one day. It is only when you and I have the burdens of those two awful eternities, Yesterday and Tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives (people) mad; it is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time!” (Parentheses with inclusive language mine.)
Of all the things he might have kept, why this? It was in a box with a picture of Jesus, which comforted me since my parents seldom attended church. Did he get it at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting one of the few times he was able to get my mother to attend? Did he know the author? I will never know the answer to these questions, but I felt connected to my dad in a special way when I read it. The wise words could have been written by Jesus—in fact, they appear in a little different form in the 6th chapter of Matthew.
Precious Lord, You take care of the yesterdays and the tomorrows, and together we’ll get through today. Amen