What problem are you dealing with today? What issue has you all worked up?
Is it an argument with your spouse? Did you make a mistake at work? Did you lose some money or have you missed a great opportunity? Are you feeling ill and needing to take some time off? Has someone disappointed you? All of these issues can seem so important in the heat of the moment. But ask yourself, “Will this matter a year from now?”
Playing what Richard Carlson calls the “time warp” game can be very helpful in bringing us much needed perspective. Imagine that whatever you are dealing with today isn’t happening right now but a year from now. Then ask yourself, “Is this situation really as important as I’m making it out to be?” There may indeed be occasions when it is – but usually it isn’t all that significant.
The other day I sat beside a river and watched some ducks and a couple of swans as they swam around. A passage from the Sermon on the Mount about how God cares for birds came to mind so I looked it up. Here are Jesus’ words to us:
“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 than food, and the body more than clothes? Look 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers 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. If 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—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
That passage brought me much needed perspective and peace. I struggle and fight against things I have no control over because I’m worried about many things. But my heavenly Father is in control of all things. So whatever it is that’s bothering me today, I need to trust that God has it all under control. And a year from now – I will have probably forgotten about it.