One Day at a Time
Take ... no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. — Matt 6:34
This last reason our Lord gives against anxiety for the future is that we have nothing to do with the future. God gives us life by days, little single days. Each day has its own duties, its own needs, its own trials and temptations, its own griefs and sorrows. God always gives us strength enough for the day as He gives it, with all that He puts into it. But if we insist on dragging back to-morrow’s cares and piling them on top of to-day’s, the strength will not be enough for the load. God will not add strength just to humour our whims of anxiety and distrust.
So the lesson is that we should keep each day distinct and attend strictly to what it brings us. Charles Kingsley¹ says: “Do to-day’s duty, fight to-day’s temptation, and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things which you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.” We really have nothing at all to do with the future, save to prepare for it by doing with fidelity the duties of to-day.
No one was ever crushed by the burdens of one day. We can always get along with our heaviest load till the sun goes down; well, that is all we ever have to do. To-morrow? Oh, you may have no to-morrow; you may be in heaven. If you are here God will be here too, and you will receive new strength sufficient for the new day.
One day at a time. A burden too great
To be borne for two can be borne for one;
Who knows what will enter to-morrow‘s gate?
While yet we are speaking all may be done.
One day at a time, but a single day,
Whatever its load, whatever its length;
And there‘s a bit of precious Scripture to say
That according to each shall be our strength.
1: Charles Kingsley, (1819–75) was an English author and clergyman. Best known for his fiction; Alton Locke (1850), Yeast (1851), Hypatia (1853), Westward Ho! (1855), The Water Babies (1863), and Hereward the Wake (1866),
In 1859, Kingsley was made chaplain to Queen Victoria. From 1860 to 1869 he was professor of modern history at Cambridge and in 1873 was appointed canon of Westminster.