“Stop borrowing trouble!” said he to his worrying wife.
We Americans are known for living beyond our means. If we can’t afford it, we borrow. Can’t agree on a budget? Add it to the National Debt. Can’t afford tuition? Student loans! Can’t afford a nice car? Lease it!
Our motto is no longer “In God we trust,” but “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
As a result of this and more, what we borrow more than anything else is trouble.
This is not just about money and possessions. Last week I got a call from my boss asking me to give her another copy of my cpr card because they lost it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t carry such things in my wallet other than my driver’s license, credit card, and my trusty Family Christian reward card so I looked for hours to no avail. I went to bed that night and tossed and turned wondering if I would ever find it or where it might be or if I would have to take another class or if I might lose my job or if I would ever sleep again. I was borrowing trouble.
Have you ever come up with a solution when you are in such a frantic state? Me neither. And yet I continue to make myself frantic anyways about things I cannot do anything about until tomorrow.
After Jesus tells us not to worry about our needs such as food and clothing, He says something simple yet very profound.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
I know this and yet I still do it. So why do I borrow more worries from tomorrow when I have enough worries for today? Because I crave the very thing I cannot have: control. Why if I could just think of everything that could possibly go wrong tomorrow, I might be able to anticipate a solution. Everything would then be under control. But life has a funny way of rewriting our script, doesn’t it? No matter how much we try to stay ahead, anticipate, and create our own adventure, inevitably something unforeseen happens.
So what should be done? Pray. Earlier in the chapter, Jesus tells us how to pray. And notice what He prays:
Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:11-12
Why does He say “daily bread”? Because we are supposed to pray daily for our needs that day only, trusting He will “give us today” what we need today. We are not told to pray today for tomorrow or ask for extra today to prepare for tomorrow.
And then, not surprisingly, He talks about debt. Not that we should accumulate debt because we are living only for today, but so we have no debt to worry about when tomorrow’s debts become today’s.
If you are a chronic worrier like me, you have already started worrying about not worrying. But don’t worry! You will have plenty to worry about tomorrow. Just pray that tomorrow’s troubles don’t trouble you today too. That would be a debt you will be able to repay.