Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Live for Today

I know that it is sometimes very difficult not to get wrapped up in what might happen tomorrow. I know that in the times of a troubled economy it is hard not to worry about a vanishing retirement plan or even what you're going to do about buying Christmas presents. This past weekend I was reminded of a passage from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew, chapter 6. There Jesus says:

25"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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look 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? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

That last verse pretty much sums up the lesson that is mentioned by the sister of John Challis at the end of this video. John had plenty that he could have been dwelling on about a future that held one certainty--each day could be his last. The video ran on ESPN in August and was re-aired the other night.

Even though no one is promised tomorrow, we all live like we'll be here for sometime to come. I wonder how we might change if we were to think that there might not be a tomorrow. I'm not talking about living a reckless or irresponsible lifestyle. I'm wondering if we might not be more appreciative of the simple things in life and the people that we interact with every day.

After watching the video, I'm thinking that I really have no problems that I could compare to what John Challis faced...and no excuses for not living life to the fullest.

John

  1. Matthew 6:27 Or single cubit to his height

5 comments:

Mike said...

"27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

I know a lot of people that would be immortal if this were true.

Anonymous said...

So, I guess I don't need to save for retirement. Or prepare anything for later in my life? Is that what you're trying to say? Not being a Christian, that's how I read this and the words you posted of Jesus.

Claudia said...

If ever someone understood this passage from Matthew, it was John Challis. What a guy! I'm so glad you shared his story.

Bilbo said...

I very much appreciate the simple things in life and the people I interact with every day. I try to enjoy each day. Unfortunately, there are a lot of tomorrows lined up waiting their chance to kick me in the tukus, so I don't think I'll give up worrying any time soon.

John said...

Since Jesus often taught about good stewardship, I don't think that He is contradicting that here. I think that the message here is about worry.

Today there are all kinds of studies (Google for yourself) that indicate that there are very real health issues that are associated with worry(stress). They probably didn't have access to Google and there probably weren't a great deal of studies done on the negative effects of stress back then. And yet, here is Jesus telling us what we've discovered centuries later...worry doesn't help. In fact, it hurts.

Jesus (talking to a group of people that do believe in God) tells them that the God that created them will care for them. He uses nature (also created by God) as an example.

Honestly, this is just my simple understanding of this passage. I don't have the knowledge to examine the original texts or the wisdom to completely understand my God. I'm in the struggle with the rest of humanity. I'm willing to share my thoughts and listen to the thoughts of others. Maybe we can help each other find the way.