“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34
There was a television commercial a year or so ago that featured a little fuzzy faced dog scurrying around the backyard with a bone in his mouth frantically searching for a safe place to hide his prized possession. As the cute little mutt went from one place to another in the yard – the doghouse, the shrubs, to digging a hole – all the while the TV audience heard these imaginary words rolling around in his head: “Worry! Worry! Worry!”
Don’t we all do that? Worry, worry, worry about how a thief might steal or some other disaster might befall our stuff, ourselves, or our loved ones. But Jesus challenged us about worrying. “Look at the birds of the air,” He says, “they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. . . And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Charles Manz in his book The Leadership Wisdom of Jesus further explains it this way: “Indeed, birds and flowers of the field don’t scurry around driven by worry about yesterday’s failures or tomorrow’s potential disasters, and they do just fine. In fact, they do more than fine as they soar through the air and grace the earth with arguably life’s greatest picture of beauty and most sumptuous fragrances.” So why worry, Jesus asks?
Rather than reality, worry is something that is contrived in the imagination. That may be why Jesus addressed it, though not as a moral issue but as a wisdom teaching. Worry serves no purpose. Instead it is distracting, and can even become paralyzing. The insurance company that sponsored the TV ad understood that too. Their message seemed to say, “let us manage your risk rather than worrying about it.” Things do go wrong, of course. Thieves steal and disasters befall all the time. But worrying will not prevent such things from happening. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” We must instead move forward one day at a time rather than allowing ourselves to be distracted, even paralyzed, by events that have not occurred but are only contrived in our imagination.