This #ThoughtfulThursday Alison shares a thought on how we can overcome anxiety in this season …
I recently heard these words written by the Indian Sanskrit playwright and poet from the 4th/5th century AD whose work was based on Hindu philosophy, and feel that they are particularly relevant and helpful in our present situation, which finds us full of anxiety about the future.
Look to this day: For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course Lie all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth, The glory of action, The splendour of achievement Are but experiences of time For yesterday is but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision; And today well-lived, makes Yesterday a dream of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day; Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
In the Sermon on the Mount recounted in Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 6, Jesus talks about anxiety and how we should cope with it. His teaching grew out of his own experience. When he told his followers not to worry about tomorrow, we must assume he led them by example. He wasn’t always looking ahead anxiously, making the present moment count only because of what might come next. He seems to have had the skill of living totally in the present, giving attention totally to the present task, celebrating the goodness of God here and now. A true recipe for happiness.
He wants his followers to be the same. He wants them to make God their priority, to prioritise God’s kingdom and the way of life that goes with it. He wants us to focus on the creator himself, who has filled the world with wonderful and mysterious things, full of beauty and energy and excitement, and who wants his human creatures above all to trust him and love him and receive their own beauty, energy and excitement from him.
In Matthew 6, verse 34 we read “therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” He refers to our worries about food, drink and clothing. We can spend so much time worrying about what has happened and what might happen that life just passes us by. Worrying takes us no further forward.
As we continue to live under the shadow of the virus let us focus on the good things in our lives and remember those words in Matthew 6, verse 33 “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. If we put God first then everything else will take care of itself.