One of the predictable things about cancer is that there never seems to be a shortage of things to worry about. Everything from the obvious and general (like when will the figurative piano dangling above my head finally drop) to the routine (whether my labwork will look good enough for me to continue chemotherapy, whether the next MRI will look good, whether I'm losing my keys more often than I should, whether the insurance company will finally pay for my treatment so I quit bleeding $25,000 every six weeks, whether my house will finally get organized, whether my son got in trouble at school and woke up crying in the middle of the night because he was worried about me, and whether I am losing blog readers because I've been posting less frequently lately). Then there is fun stuff, like whether my book will arrive from the printer on time, and whether it will have any typos. And whether I'll have enough time to meet with a bookseller during my trip to Chicago so it will be a partial tax write-off. And whether I'll have to wait until the last minute to know which Messiah solos I get to sing this Easter. And finally there is the idiotic: whether my roots should be touched up before our annual family photo, and whether my lack of sleep is damaging my immune system (it keeps me awake, which is really dumb).
As is typical, the scriptures came to the rescue. Sometimes things just pop up during my reading, right when they need to. Earlier this week we had some news that threw more worries on the pile (fortunately, not health news, at least). Despite having received a lot of training experiences that have helped me deal with worries a lot better, that unsettled feeling takes some effort to keep in check. It's all because my imagination is usually much worse than my reality. (The imagination cells in my brain are obviously still completely intact and functional.)
Enter the Sermon on the Mount, which has been the subject of our family scripture study at bedtime. Even though I had read it many times in both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, the "consider the lilies" part took on special significance in the context of our day. What was especially nice was learning the interpretation of the final remark: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The supplemental text that we were reading explained that there is enough trouble in one day. I guess even on a good day there is enough to deal with, and there is no need to take on the concerns of what may or may not happen tomorrow.
A couple of exceptions, of course. Always save for a rainy day. Emergency preparedness is a good thing. Wills and durable power of attorney documents are good things. Think before you speak, look before you leap, etc. Once in a while I remember a Seinfeld episode where Kramer did something really stupid and cried out, "I didn't think ahead!" We should think ahead.
Worrying about possible future tragedy is not useful, however. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Sometimes what we worry about doesn't happen, so we waste energy and damage the immune system. Sometimes what we worry about does happen, and the pre-emptive stress doesn't offer much protection. We still can't really deal with hard stuff until it happens, so other than taking care of prudent things (like carrying an umbrella and wearing seatbelts), consideration of what the future might hold should stop far before worry sets in. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
In my experience, in good times and in bad, the morrow really does take care of itself. We do our best, and we get what we need when we need it. Someone knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows how to guide and shape our lives and provide all that is expedient. Not all that we want right now, but certainly all that we need.