Meridian Star

December 29, 2012

From the Shepherd's heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."     — Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)

I read that most of us crucify ourselves between the regrets of the past and the fear of the future. This will be the last weekend of this year. How should I live today?

    The year 2012 has been one to remember. Weather has been excessive and horrific. Who has ever heard of hurricanes hitting the Northeast? Violence has fed a growing spirit of paranoia across the land. After the theatre of Aurora, Colo., and the school of Newtown, Conn., all public places seem threatened.

    We watched Nik Wallenda try not to fall while crossing the Niagara Falls. We celebrated Felix Baumgartner falling 24 miles, creating a new skydiving record.

    Like all years, 2013 has many unknowns. What is the Stock Market going to do? Do you think taxes are going up? What is going to happen with gun control? Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? I could dream enough “What ifs?” that I could want to just crawl in a fox hole and duck!

    When I look to the past, much of it looks like “good ole days,” but some of it I hope no one remembers. I wonder how many celebrated the Stock Market crash of 1929. I can only imagine the paranoia of Pearl Harbor in 1941. I remember practicing school drills hiding under our desks in case Cuba sent missiles at us. I remember hoping my draft number wouldn’t be called.

    The Lord encourages us to, “Not worry!” Several reasons are given in that Sermon on the Mount:

    There is no need to worry about the things you can’t control. No person can add a day to his life. Only God is in control of that. If He wants us to live to be 100, we will make it.

    Our Heavenly Father provides what we need. Feeding of the birds is Jesus’ illustration of our every need being met. In my back yard, birds come each day. They don’t know where the seed come from. They just enjoy what is there. It is my job to keep it coming. So it is with God.

    Our Heavenly Father has us in His focus. He makes flowers so detailed and beautiful, yet they are for but a day. The details of our lives are even more in His focus and He has promised us eternity.

    Therefore, let’s live each day to the fullest and enjoy it. This day may have challenges but it will have blessings too. Don’t ruin today by rehearsing yesterday or fearing tomorrow. Relax and let God guide your day. He knows the way. He has all we need. We are going to make it.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.