Carpe Diem!

May 7, 1999
by Chad Janey

Matthew 6:33-34 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I often find myself having "programmer's block" as I sit and stare at my computer screen hoping the next line of code will just magically type itself. In the past as this has occurred to me, I have tried to stop for a moment to try and figure out why it was that I was having so much difficulty figuring out what to do next. It did not take me long to realize that I had come to a "block", not because I did not know what to do next, but because I was thinking more about other things than about the task at hand. I found myself thinking about the day that lay ahead of me, the client that I had to go and see, or the ever-important conference call at the office. My mind was focusing on problems or troubles that had not yet even arrived.

It just seems so natural to start thinking about tomorrow long before it even arrives. While planning for tomorrow is a good idea, worrying about tomorrow never seems to provide any rewards. When we start to worry or concern ourselves with the problems of the days ahead, we lose the ability to overcome the problems we are facing right at the moment. It causes us to put our focus on the wrong things. A good salesman trying to close a big deal does not focus on the next sale that might walk in the door, but rather gives his full attention to the customer right in front of him at that moment. Likewise a student hoping to pass a mid-term exam cannot worry about or focus on the other tests of the coming days. The key is to focus on the right things, to focus on the here-and-now.

The first part of today's scripture was a familiar one to me, but I must admit that the last sentence was one I had never really paid close attention to or noticed: "Each day has enough trouble of its own." This is such a true statement, and one that we should all apply to our daily lives. Again, focusing on today without worrying about what lies ahead of us is not always, or perhaps never, easy to do. But that is where the first part of the verse becomes so important, for it tells us where our main focus should always be. If we try to seek God and his kingdom first, Matthew tells us that the rest will take care of itself. In the preceding verses, Jesus mentions the things that people were concerned about: clothing, food and drink. These are the "things that will be added unto you." If you keep your focus on things eternal, and on God, he will provide all of your needs. Knowing that your needs are going to be provided makes it a little easier not to worry so much about tomorrow or what tomorrow may bring.

We all could accomplish so much more with our lives if we kept our eyes and minds upon today, overcoming one obstacle at a time. Think of it like running in an Olympic hurdle race with each hurdle being another day. You will never be able to reach the last hurdle or the finish line without getting over the one that lies directly in front of you. And if you fall, remember you've always got a gentle Saviour waiting to catch you and put you back on your feet.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for helping us to focus on today, and to let You take care of the rest. Help us to seek Your kingdom first. Amen.

About the author:

Chad Janey
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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