There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute.
There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute, here and now.
The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.
Which is exactly what it is
a miracle and unrepeatable.
--Margaret Storm Jameson
I have had to discipline myself, lately, to avoid reading all articles that project what “might happen” in the future. Which is hard, because as I sit in lockdown, scrabbling to do a semi-OK job at teaching remotely and wanting so badly to hold my new granddaughter, there is little that I want to know more than that!
When an article ends with “but of course we don’t know”—as many of them do, these days—that should be my indication to set it aside—or at least not to let it determine my mood.
The Buddha encouraged us to live only in the present. And Jesus did too, saying, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own; today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). The King James version of this was a favorite of my grandmother; she repeated often: “Sufficient unto the day are the worries thereof.” She had lived through the 1918 flu pandemic and two world wars, and she used this as a kind of Christian mantra to get from one day to the next. It worked.
Today, in this very real day, we have very real things to be grateful for; we have very real things to grieve; we have very real neighbors who need our very real love and care. Conjecture, and the worry that attends it, has no business getting in the way of that vital work. So, when worry over an unknown and unknowable future threatens to derail you, take a deep breath in, then a deep breath out. Say, “Today’s trouble is enough for today,” and set about today’s very real work. Tomorrow’s celebrating, grieving, loving, and caring we will take care of tomorrow
that’s what tomorrow is for.
-- The Rev. Barbara Talcott, St. Mark’s School
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