We imagine many scenarios. We worry about many things that will never happen. I like the definition of worry I recently came across:
Worry is interest paid on a debt we may never owe.
That’s a definition worth remembering because it exposes the stupidity of worry.
Today is Monday, not Tuesday.
How much of Monday have you spent imagining? I don’t mean the good use of imagination: wondering, dreaming, thinking up new possibilities. I mean the negative use of your imagination: mentally rehearsing difficult or stressful circumstances from your make-believe future. Have you been wasting Monday by mentally “trying on” what it might be like to get through your forecast for Tuesday?
We become fearful, burdened, not a lot of fun to be around, and terribly ineffective in the present when we try to live life through our imaginations. What is this dynamic about?
A few weeks ago I went for a walk with my friend Toby. I told Toby about some future fears I had for my family and my work. I laid out my scenarios and forecasts. The more I talked through my imagined forecasts, the more troubled I became. Toby noticed this and spoke a powerful sentence to me:
God doesn’t give us grace for our imaginations.
Toby reminded me of one of those fundamentals we seem to always forget.
God gives us grace for today, grace for what’s right in front of us. Today is Monday. And today God has given us the supply of grace we need for navigating Monday, December 21, 2009. But today, Monday, God hasn’t given us the grace to handle Tuesday or our imaginations of Tuesday.