Don't Let the Dread of Tomorrow Steal the Joy of Today
Dread. It’s been a cloud hovering over me for the past week or so. It’s been interfering with my ability to appreciate what’s in front of me because my attention has been on what’s ahead . . . winter. I just don’t like it. And my dislike for the season ahead has been interfering with my ability to enjoy the one I’m in.
I breathe in the cool fall air, and I think about the frigid air and freezing temperatures coming in the months ahead.
I watch my kids play in the fallen leaves, and I wonder how we’ll fill the dark hours of late afternoon while stuck inside the house all winter.
I remind the kids to grab a sweatshirt before walking out the door—just in case, and I remember the hassle of coats and gloves and hats and sometimes boots.
And so, in most moments of today, I am dreading the moments of tomorrow.
When I read Paul’s conclusion in his letter to the Philippians, I sort of feel like he’s speaking to me. You see, I’m thinking about the wrong things, and those thoughts have led to my feelings of dread. I’m not thinking about the things of today that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Instead, I’m thinking about what’s ahead—the hard, unpleasant, and ugly things of the future.
If I want dread to stop hovering over me, I have to stop looking at the cloud.
Are you walking through your days with a cloud hovering over you? Maybe it’s not the anticipation of winter that’s filling you with dread. Maybe it’s an appointment, a meeting, test results, an event, a confrontation, or a myriad of other “dreadful” things. Or maybe you’re anticipating a difficult season of life ahead.
Can I encourage you to join me this week in applying this verse—to focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy?
Let’s stop allowing the dread of tomorrow steal the moments of joy today.