Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Just for today


"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." —Matthew 6:34, (The Message)

By Bishop Robert Hayes Jr.

It is truly hard to believe our journey has brought us not only into another year but also another decade. Ten years ago, people were running around like barnyard chicks in anticipation of Y2K! Do you remember how frantic people hoarded gas, water, guns, bullets, and even Spam, in preparation for the end? That seems foolish now, but at the time the fear was so real for some.

That’s why I write today—to remind you that we have a set of instructions on how to live into the years and decades of our lives. If we follow those directions, there will be an absence of fear, doubt, and anxiety in 2010. (And no need to stock up on Spam!)

These lessons of which I speak do not come from Bob Hayes. They come from the greatest teacher who ever lived. His ideas and philosophy for living are just as good in 2010 as they were when he taught them more than 2,000 years ago. He taught in such simple words that anyone—from the very young to the very old—can follow his tutoring.

Study with me these timeless words of the master teacher, Jesus.

Live one day at a time

In Matthew 6:34, we find Jesus’ directive to live one day at a time.

Now I know you’ve heard this advice before, but have you really taken it to heart? If 2010 is going to be different from 2009 (and from any time spent in meaningless living), you at least should live for today and see how it works. Surely you should be able to follow this advice for one day.

This teaching was so important to Jesus. He knew people rob each day of its blessings and pleasures by worrying over what is yet to come, what should or should not come, and how it will look when it gets here.

Why can’t you give your full attention to what God is doing today? Why not try to get the most from those precious 24 hours?

Just for today, choose to be unafraid of life, undaunted by death, confident in happiness, and aware of the beautiful.

Too many people are afraid to enjoy the life that God gave them. Someone has convinced them that they cannot embrace joy each and every day they live. Somewhere along the way, they have been told that they must give in to misery and worry, that these come with living.

This is absolute nonsense!

Problems and difficulties confronted Jesus, yet he said so much about happiness and discovering the beauty of God’s Kingdom. He never let his enemies or anyone else get him down. No one drained his enthusiasm for life.

As you reflect on these words from Matthew, Jesus is asking you this question: Of what value is it to wake up each day afraid and fearful over what may or may not happen to you? When you do that, you are cheated of the endless possibilities of that day.

Just for today, let us live this one day only—forgetting yesterday and tomorrow—and not try to solve the whole problem of life all at once.

Just for today, let us adjust to what is—family, business, the need to love and be loved—and not try to make over the world to suit us!

Just for today, let us be at our best—agreeable, responsive, cheerful, charitable, dressing our best, walking softly, praising people for what they do instead of criticizing them for what they cannot do—and if we find fault, let us forgive it.

Just for today, let us not hurry, worry, or fly off in a flurry! Neither let us hem and haw about a decision, but snap it out, cut the knot, and be done with it.

Just for today, let us not unsettle people’s nerves and let us not be unnerved by people; instead, let us appreciate the noble and gracious things they do.

Just for today, let us ditch all grudges we hold because life did not give us what we think we deserved.

Just for today, let us study something useful that requires attention, concentration, and a bit of real thinking. Also, let us do a good turn for someone else as well.

Let us not show anyone that our feelings are hurt, and, if they are hurt, let us hide them with a smile.

Just for today, let us make time for quiet, to relax, to reflect on what life is, and to resolve to make more of our lives. Let us take time to think about God and to get ourselves aligned with Christ’s advice, our lives untangled and clean.

Then, after having done all these things just for today, start again tomorrow. Just be sure to wait until tomorrow comes.


Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

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