I can still see my seventeen-year-old self standing in a college bookstore, a stack of syllabi in hand. I expect the prep-for-class process has changed, but back then it worked like this:
- Register for classes. (In a gym full of card tables!)
- Pick up a syllabus for each class.
- Read through each one to see what will be required throughout the semester.
- Buy all the books needed for every class. (In person. At an actual bookstore.)
Hauling all those textbooks back to the dorm was no easy task. Talk about a beast of burden! The real burden, though, and the real beast, was in my own brain. I would inevitably look at a whole semester’s worth of assignments and wonder—with a good bit of worry—how I would ever be able to do all that work. Some part of me disregarded the long timeline, the months stretching out before me to offer the gift of ample time, as if it was all due TODAY.
Of course, I did have enough time, and did finish the assignments, and graduate and find employment and…But it took me a long time to learn this lesson:
When life looms large and its demands seem overwhelming, JUST DO TODAY!
Those early weeks of college were tainted by my insistence on mentally tackling way too much before the real time to do so. Life presents plenty of challenge, and when we try to take it all on at once, or even wonder how we will handle tomorrow while we are embroiled in today, we wreck any possibility of peace. Why do we do that? I think it has something to do with that old enemy of ours who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. It may also have something to do with our demented idea that we can control and handle all things on our own. Taking things one day at a time is much easier to do when we remember Who holds our future.
Jesus taught this lesson long ago. The sooner we learn it, the better!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14: 27).