July 7, 2008
One of my favorite children’s book is entitled “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” This little guy is having a very tough day and his coping mechanism is his plan to run away to Australia.
Alexander’s problems consisted of a bad hair morning, lousy snacks at lunch, having to sit in the back seat of the car while his sibling got to ride “shot gun,” and a trip to the dentist. While none of these things make a child smile from ear to ear, they really do not compare with an adult’s bad day.
Bad days for us might start with bad hair, but they often include sibling or parent issues, financial pressures, employment hassles, car repairs, illnesses, teenagers and conflicting commitments. They can’t be solved by moving to another seat in the car. They won’t go away with a good snack. And moving to Australia is out!
Jesus seemed to anticipate our “bad days” with His remarks in Luke chapter twelve. He instructs His disciples to not be anxious about their lives. And, although He specifically mentions that we should not worry about food or clothing, we might expand on those concerns a bit and add concerns about unexpected household repairs, lost jobs, health issues and so on. The list could be quite lengthy.
To focus their attention (and ours!) on the solution, Jesus asks a penetrating question. Essentially He asks if we can grow an inch by worrying. And of course, we can not. But His rhetorical remark further on in verse 26 caught my attention, “If then, you cannot do even a very little thing (make yourself grow an inch), why are you anxious about other matters?”
I would not have said making me grow an inch is a “little thing”. Nor are all the other components of a bad day “little things” They all seem to loom in my mind like the “giant of the day”. But Christ put it all in perspective for His disciples and for us.
His answer for all of our anxious thoughts is to trust Him. In fact, the parallel passage in Matthew 6:33 specifically speaks to the issues of your next bad day. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things (your need for a new job, money for medical expenses, and insightful solutions for family problems) shall be added to you”.
So instead of fussing your way through your next bad day (and there will be one right around the corner), “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Besides, it is winter time down in Australia anyway!
Sherry L. Worel