Sunday, November 8, 2009

One Day at a Time

We have all heard the saying “just take it one day at a time.” Most commonly it is heard along with the 12 step process for drug and alcohol addictions and for mental illness. But how does that apply to the rest of us who may not suffer from those particular illnesses and the way we live our lives for God?

It had been a while since I read all Twelve Steps—although they are often quoted in books in some manner or another. As I read them again I realized how central our faith in God is in helping us take every day one day at a time. Steps #1/2/3 are to admit I am powerless, to believe in a higher power/God and turn my life over to God; #5 is forgiveness from God and others; #6/7 are to ask God for help to change and steps #11/12 are to search for God thru prayer and to carry out God’s message in each of our daily tasks. step- program #Twelve_Steps

I am thinking that is how we should all live, illness or not…. Admit I am powerless without God, ask forgiveness and change my “sinful ways, to search for God in prayer and carry God’s message in my daily life. To not worry about either what happened yesterday that I cannot change, or tomorrow when God may change it thru prayer for me.

In searching the internet for “one day at a time” the following list popped up: The most useless thing to do, worry (not giving up our life to God); the greatest channel of communication, prayer; the greatest joy, giving; the most powerful force in life, Love (originated by God, and God’s most important command to us); the greatest asset, faith; the most satisfying work, service to others (God’s asking of us to be like Christ, to serve). Once again, I am sure the author did not realize that what he/she was writing was focused not on something “worldly,” but on our lives serving and imitating God.

Last week Father made mention that it’s the littlest things that often make the biggest difference in our lives. Everything from a kind word, a hug, a helping hand, an extra prayer, or even a small gift—none of them necessarily take a lot of our time, require any significant amount of planning or preparation, but given unconditionally can make all the difference in the world to someone who is struggling in health, sorrow, pain, guilt, or a worry that we don’t even know about. Likewise it might be the smallest moment in time, which has the biggest impact on someone we meet.

Today’s readings1 Kgs 17:10-16 and Mk 12:41-44 were about the widows who gave their last food and small amount of money to help Elijah and the poor. Once again it was the small thing that made the most difference and had impact on Jesus. And the widow who gave her last bit of food, trusted in God, to take one day at a time and God rewarded her with the entire year’s supply, and Jesus ultimately raised her son from the dead. They did not worry about tomorrow, but served God today. Are we hoarding our belongings or talents or sharing them and letting God take care of us “one day at a time?” Is our trust in God?

How often are we looking forward or backward agonizing over something we feel guilty, regretful or angry about, or wishing there was something we could have that we can’t? Am I missing the one day, the one time, the one person, the littlest thing, that is most important, because I am worried about yesterday?

What about our spouses, what are the little ways that we can help them thru one day at a time—with a hug or gentle touch, with a request to pray together, with an offer of forgiveness (even if no one did anything wrong), with a prayer to make their day go better, or to keep them safe?

Are we letting God have all of our daily problems, so that we can offer our energies to loving and caring for those around us, instead of wasting time worrying needlessly? Are we offering God our individual daily tasks? Are we serving God one day at a time, letting our faith and trust in Him be our greatest asset?
From Matt 6: 24-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

Dear God, Thank you for another awesome day with you. I offer up to You all my weaknesses, pains, sufferings, and sorrows. Help me to be more like you, to be generous and a kind servant. Help me to not worry about what will be tomorrow but instead to live for you, to unselfishly give my love, my time, my talent and my treasures one day at a time. Allow me to look at my neighbors and my loved ones and meet their unspoken needs in Your name. Amen.

Blessings, Charlotte

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