“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
“Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
All of these statements come from the same passage in the Sermon on the Mount — Matthew 6:25-34.
Jesus talks about placing trust in the the spiritual value that there is ultimately enough, naming that we are seen, cared for, and loved.
Of course, we know that sometimes, people genuinely do not have what they need, and there are times when anxiety emerges from inside the body in ways that can be debilitating. These deserve our attention, compassion, and gentleness, alongside commitments to address the situations that cause them.
Yet also, in the midst of that, and in the midst of many tendencies to ruminate over that which we fear, whether large or small, I think this is genuinely the most practical of advice.
I don’t mean to say that it’s always easy to simply turn worry off, and there are crises that make that remarkably challenging. Maybe even impossible. But in some situations, it is genuinely so very practical to say, “I’m only going to focus on this day.” At least emotionally.
Looking at the larger picture, pondering the bigger pieces, and moving in the longer direction… yes.
But emotionally, focusing on the one day in front of us. Just this one.
“One day at a time,” folks wisely say.
This can be especially practical when large things feel as though they are looming —
navigating new contexts.
This is a spiritual practice and orientation, definitely. But it’s also so darn practical.