I’m guessing you might agree that worrying about the future is not a pleasant way to spend our time. So, the question I have is: when anxious thoughts arise, how can we stop them? One wonderful principle we can operate is to live one day at a time.
What Me Worry?
Realistically, we do need to think about our future. We need to make plans. That’s for certain. We have calendars filled with important dates and events. We have things to do to enjoy life. For example, I have some volunteering scheduled at my daughter’s school for the upcoming weekend. I have to plan that into my future. But am I worried or anxious about my future plans? No. Do I continually fret over the details of my life’s schedule? No.
Why not? Why am I not worrying about the future? I’d like to share with you what I do, so that you can investigate for yourself if what I do can work for you.
I Do Two Things
I do two productive things to make things happen: (i) I pray and (ii) I make positive plans.
Here’s an example. I have a goal that in 6 months, I’ll have much less fat stuck on my stomach, and I’ll be able to fit into a pair of jeans with a 32-inch waist (currently I’m a 34W, and it used to be 38W).
Am I worrying about this goal? No. Why? I’ve (i) prayed about it (or, said in another way, I focused my thoughts with specific details and assured confidence in success), and (ii) I have made positive plans (in which I realize where I am, and list the future steps to reach my identified future goal).
Planning is Time Travel
I think of planning as a bit like time travel. We travel into the future by planning, because planning is like bringing the future into the present so that we can do something about it today. I recommend reading that again.
Once we pray and plan, we can stop our anxious thoughts about the future by putting the majority of our energy and actions into living one day at a time.
Jesus Lived from Day to Day
Jesus lived and taught his friends to live one day at a time. We read in Matthew 6:25, 28, 31, 34:
The words “take…thought” are translated from a Greek word meaning “be anxious about” or, as we might say, “worry.” Jesus told them not to worry about what they were going to eat, to drink, to wear—not to worry about “the morrow,” the future. He assured them that “sufficient [enough] unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Thayer’s lexicon helps clarify the King James Version of verse 34 as “Let the present day’s trouble suffice for a man, and let him not rashly increase it by anticipating the cares of days to come.” There’s enough to take care of in every twenty-four-hour period. If we try to anticipate the worries of the future, we may actually increase the challenges we’ll need to deal with. We can put our focus into living in the day, right now, the day at hand, the present moment and one day at a time.
E. W. Bullinger translates Matthew 6:34 as follows: “Have, then, no anxiety for any future day….” That includes tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the day after that. Every care or concern we may have about the future can be handled one day at a time. To live one day at a time, you have to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Enjoy what’s going on right now. You’re not your best if anxieties about the future dominate our thinking.
The Benefits of Worrying
Can you remember the last time you really, practically benefited from worrying a lot? Explain the details of when worrying about something actually helped the situation you were in. See what I mean?
Focus on the Present Moment
So how can we focus our energy into experiencing, living, and enjoying the present moment - the day at hand? I suggest we should daily “perform our vows.”
So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
A vow is a solemn promise you make committing yourself to an act, service, or condition.
This is one of the best things about believing in God: we can perform (or do) what we’ve committed ourselves to do, and do it one day at a time.
What have we committed to do?
Our commitments may include: our marriages, our children, our parent, our jobs, our school, our fellowships, our volunteer work, taking care of the things we own, taking care of our health (ahem), etc. We’re committed to doing certain things. We do our commitments and responsibilities daily.
For example, we love our lover daily. Love ‘em up. Right. And when each day is over, we thank God for our commitments and go to sleep. Staying committed to the things we have at hand, and doing them well, can help us stop worrying “the morrow.”
Doing God’s Word. What’s That Mean?
Spending time in every twenty-four-hour period, each day, with our thoughts focused on doing God’s Word can also help us live day-by-day, and not worry about the future. What does that mean – “doing God’s Word”? Here are a few ideas:
And while we are focusing our energy and actions into living every day with the Spirit, we are daily loaded up with blessings.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Because we pray and plan, we can stop anxious thoughts about the future by living our lives to the fullest one day at a time.
You may be interested in reading Squeeze Your Woman Today.
We've all made lists of goals to accomplish. Yes? Your list may have goals of personal achievements, financial means, or a satisfying relationship. But what would be the significance of such list?
In this article, we'll learn that:
List of Goals in Life
Everything on that list of goals comes with promises that, once accomplished, would bring us joy, satisfaction, and a future time when we could really enjoy our lives. But this is just wishful thinking. Hopeful thinking. Because goals do not bring joy, peace, satisfaction and love to our lives.
Q: What does bring those things? A: Our spiritual walk in life. Our believing action in God.
Our minds are everything. What we think, we are. In Proverbs 23:7, it's written, "For as she thinketh in her heart, so is she." It doesn't matter how successful you are or who's in your bed, you won't enjoy anything in your life if you're mind is out of control.
Goal in Life
It's important to have goals in life. Yes, of course. I have goals that include good personal health, mature children, and good relationships. But people tend to search for happiness without understanding the rules of the game of life that we're playing. And the goal of the game for me, and for each of us, is to enjoy the present moment as myself, as I am, regardless of the situation.
That's the goal. Now that you know the goal of the game, let's learn a bit about how to play the game. It starts with your mind.
Sam Harris in his book Waking Up says:
Being Mindful of the Present Moment
By paying close attention to how we think about the present moment is the basis for a fulfilled, spiritual life. We call this mindfulness. By becoming simply interested in the nature of your own mind, and by paying attention to your experience in the present moment, you can investigate certain truths for yourself, without accepting religious dogma or metaphysical abstractions. And examining and studying our thoughts can be done without awkwardness or embarrassment (which cannot be said when chanting Lord Krishna while banging a drum, for example).
The quality of your life, how you feel right now, in the present moment, is critically dependent upon what you're thinking. The boredom, distress, irritation, worry, or disappointment - your suffering or dissatisfaction - that you may be experiencing in your life right now exists because you think it does. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
You're Not Alone
You’re not. Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing." That's true. Our natural predominant propensity is to go it alone, achieve our own goals by ourselves, with an "I alone can do" attitude. Our tendency is to trust in our own abilities and strengths. We believe and act as “self-sufficient" in achieving the goals we’ve set for ourselves, accomplishing them, and be happy and enjoy life.
Goals Do Not Bring Happiness
But none of those goals, and none of their promises of joy and happiness, will actually bring such things. Why? Because we don’t have the resources within ourselves to meet all of our needs. Alone we can do nothing.
Only when we trust in the promises and resources of God, not in those of the world, can we truly find peace, love, joy, and satisfaction in our lives (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). Our sufficiency is not of ourselves; it is with God that we are self-sufficient. Physically, we have health, long life, shelter, and food. Mentally, we have peace, confidence, happiness. Spiritually, we have a new birth, holy spirit, spiritual rights, and manifestations. In all ways, in all situations, for all times, our believing action in God, when we walk in the spirit, we can tap into an inexhaustible supply, where every need is met. Our enjoyment in life is not based on human resources, but on divine ones.
A couple thousand years ago, Paul wrote, "God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." What this means is that when our lives are based upon God, walking in the spirit, then there’s no limit to our power and resources. Alone, we can not supply all of our needs. We don’t have the resources within ourselves to meet all of our needs. If we did, everyone would be blessed, happy, and at peace.
Seeing Divine Blessings
Regardless to how things may appear from the senses perspective, when I walk by the spirit I see divine blessings, which are eternal. The eternal things are the most important aspects in my life. The things that I see are temporary.
In 2 Corinthians 4:18, we read, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
By believing, by walking with the spirit, you don’t have to worry, doubt, or fear anything. I am satisfied. I’m not in a constant state of want or need.
I can do all things through Spirit that strengthens and empowers me.
I am ready for anything and equal to anything through the Spirit that infuses me with inner strength and confident peace (Phil 4:11-13).
I encourage you to be more mindful about your thoughts, which are the invisible boundaries that prevent you from enjoying the present moment regardless of the situation you're in, and understand how your believing action in God brings joy, peace and love in your life.