Covet not thy past or future

“Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is ten percent what you make it, and ninety percent how you take it!” I read this somewhere a few months ago. I thought to myself, how true.

We live in an anxious world because of the financial meltdown, and the national and global recession. Europeans are now worried about the Euro being devalued, and the financial institutions being in trouble. Germany and France, the two great proponents and supporters of the Euro, are now contemplating how to go forward in this time of crisis. Europeans in general are worried about their future and the great plan they started with: namely, eventually to become one great nation.

These immense concerns are not sufficiently simplistic to be dealt with by the stating of a few spiritual principles, and short admonitions by myself and other pastors in town. But surely we can take this whole scenario down a notch, (yes, I meant to say “down a notch”) to our own personal lives, and closer to our daily experiences.

There are two days in the week about which I never worry.( Well. If I am truthful, I have to say, I am trying not to worry about). They are the two carefree days we can keep sacredly free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is “yesterday”. Yesterday, with all its cares and worries, pains and aches, with all its failures and successes, has gone by. It is beyond my recall, and there are no parts of it I can change. Yes, I can learn from it for the next time, but I cannot change it. So, I might as well let it go. As hard as this may be, it is one thing you will waste 100% of your time worrying about. Yesterday has already joined the days of eternity, never more to return. It was mine then, and I had all the chances in the world to make 90% of it. But now it belongs to God.

The other day I do not worry about, at least I am trying not to worry about, is “tomorrow”. I can imagine all sorts of things I think I need to worry about for tomorrow. Sickness, pain, financial stability, children and….. you name it, and I will add them to this laundry list. I invite you to add a few more concerns, and we can worry about them together! But what good will that do? Not an iota will change because I am mulling over what might go wrong tomorrow. Tomorrow is the twin sister of yesterday. They have the same genes and the the same behavioral patterns. Tomorrow is not yet mine. As the Ten Commandments say, let us not covet what is not ours.

What is left for me, then, is just one day in the week:” Today”. If you are a believer in a God of eternity and a God without the limits of time, God only has “one day”, whether we call it a day, week, year, or millennium. That is today, and it is the only one we have to live. Make 90% of it. You cannot hold on to what you don’t have, whether it be yesterday or tomorrow. We have plenty of grace, resources, and strength to live the present day. Anyone among us can actually and truthfully live through today’s burdens.

Any man can fight the battles of today with God’s help. Any woman can carry the burdens of just one day, with God’s help. Anyone can resist the temptations of this day, with God’s help. It is only when we willfully add the burdens of the two awful eternities, ” Yesterday” and “Tomorrow” , such burdens as only the Mighty God can sustain, that we break down.

“It isn’t the experience of Today that drives people mad; it is the remorse of what happened Yesterday and the fear of what Tomorrow might bring. These are God’s Days … Leave them to God.” How true this is. Yesterday and tomorrow are “God Days”. Today is “Our Day”, with God’s help. Whatever is not ours needs to be given back to its rightful owner, God. Of course, God should know and does know what to do with them. If not, we have all the reason in the world to be worried about yesterday and tomorrow.

Living into today, without the burden of yesterday and tomorrow, is a gift to a person with faith, not just beliefs. To those who do not have faith in God, or the belief of what, how, and where God, heaven, and hell are, there is no reason to give their yesterdays and tomorrows to someone who does not exist. But you and I, if there is a God in whom we have put our trust, will be sustained through this time as well. Live 90% of this day fully and truthfully, and 10% will be filled by the grace which is none of our concern. If we do not, we might as well join the ranks of the Eurozone people, and worry about our unity, whether as families, communities, or nations.

In the Pledge of Allegience ,we say that we are one Nation, under God. We have, then, an obligation to make our country behave like one nation under God, by living into today. That includes letting go of the past, refraining from coveting what is not ours, making 90 percent of this day ours through the resources and strength available to us , and claiming the remaining 10% through Grace.

Be grateful to God for all the blessings in life.

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