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Giving Thanks for the Present

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself (Mt 6:34)

Hmmm ... I will confess I struggle with this one. I want to believe that this quote from Scripture is God’s way of saying, “Don’t worry, I got this! Everything is gonna end perfectly well.” The problem is, things don’t always end well. Illness happens, people die and wars break out, whether we are holy or not.

So what is the message? If I examine the entire passage in the Bible, I think it really has to do with priorities. The Lord seems to be commenting on the mistake of worrying about worldly needs to the extent that they eclipse our spiritual needs. If we spend all our time worrying about what we need or want, we don’t leave ourselves enough time for the Lord. And if we have a strong relationship with God, then, regardless of the good or the bad that life gives us, we will have the graces to handle it.

The best analogy for this, in my life, is when I prepare for guests at our house. There once was a time that hosting a party kept me up for nights prior to the event.

I had a way of over-doing it and creating a lot of work for myself, to the point that I would miss the enjoyment of visiting with our guests and being fully present to them. Not only did I take on worry and stress leading up to the event, I scurried about during the party and denied myself the gift of living in the present.

At the end of the night, I would realize I spent almost no time conversing with the guests, which was the whole point of having them over!

So it can be with life; we worry all day about the needs and concerns of life that occupy our minds so much. And then, one day, when the end comes, we risk being in the position of realizing we spent most of our time fretting about, and almost no time with the Lord, which was the whole point of our being on earth!

I have since worked on letting go of my worries and placing my trust in God. And in the area of entertaining family and friends, I’ve learned that it helps to plan ahead and not get too caught up in the unnecessary details that distract me from what is truly important.

One way I have helped myself is to select recipes that can be prepared the night before. Recently, I’ve had a lot of fun and success serving up individual desserts in mason jars. With Thanksgiving around the corner (a perennial source of worry and stress for those of us who host), you might consider this version, a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie. Throw it together, put it in the oven, and do not worry about dessert; dessert will take care of itself.