“One day at a time” is a slogan of my recovery program. It is also an idea put forth by Christ.
Jesus once said, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
A friend said this a few days ago. “When I don’t live one day at a time, I live in one daze after another.”
When I am feeling uncomfortable, I sometimes review the slogans of my program as a means of diagnosing the nature of my discomfort. Most often my slogan diagnostic test reveals that the reason I am uncomfortable is I am projecting into the future instead of focusing on today.
I have repeatedly used this slogan to help someone who has called me because they are feeling down. I say, “All you have to do is to make it until the time you put your head on your pillow this evening.” Frequently, that brings the caller back to serenity.
Here are several of the problems I have with living in the future:
1. When I am thinking in the future I tend to be using my negative imagination. I am probably looking at the future in my disaster prevention mode which guarantees unhealthy thinking.
2. I am far better at predicting what could possibly go wrong than I am at predicting the ways God is going to help me. Many times, God’s help comes in a way that I don’t expect and cannot predict. Therefore, I overemphasize potential problems and underestimate God’s helpful involvement.
3. When I am projecting sixty days into the future I am looking at all the things that might go wrong in the next sixty days. The first problem is that most of what I fear never materializes.
The second problem is I add up all the power needed to handle the problems of the next sixty days, and then compare it to the strength I have today. Then I feel overwhelmed.
The strength I have today is more than sufficient for today. However, today’s strength is notably insufficient strength when compared to the power I will need for each of the next sixty days all added up.
Today, I am not given all the strength I will ever need. I could not deal with that much power. It would destroy me and everyone around me. I am given today’s strength. I can absolutely count on being given tomorrow’s strength tomorrow and so on forever.2