Work, but Don’t Be Anxious

There is a story about an American cabbie who was visiting Greece with his family. One day he went looking for a taxicab only to find all the drivers in the cafeneion. One after the other, they each refused to take his fare. Finally, he asked one cabbie, “It is only NOON, why won’t you take my fare?” He answered, “I have made all the money I need for today. Tomorrow I will drive more.” The American was shocked, so he pressed. “But if you keep working today, you can save some extra income and eventually, after many years, you can retire.” The cabbie asked, “What would I do when I retire?” The American answered, “You can sit in the cafeneion and enjoy life.” Bursting out laughing the cabbie shouted, “That’s exactly what I’m doing now!”

 As Americans we are continuously working to build a better tomorrow. From the moment we awake, often before the sun, until the moment we lay our head down for sleep, often well after the sun has set, we are focused on how we can work harder in order to have a blessed retirement. Unfortunately, we forget that “this is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 117.24) We tend to forget that we may not even have a tomorrow.

After offering us the example of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, how God watches over them constantly, He urges us, “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) In today’s Gospel, the Lord is offering us His Peace, the peace which comes from a life without anxiety for tomorrow since today has enough trouble.

God is not suggesting that we ignore tomorrow, simply that we don’t get anxious about tomorrow at the expense of today. Birds work hard for their daily food, yet they do not gather for tomorrow. At the same time, God does not say we should sit back and expect Him to place food on our plate or clothes on our backs. He says, “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6.32-33)

At some level the Greek cabbie understood that tomorrow will come, and he is more than willing to wake up and drive another day, but until tomorrow, he understood that he had enough for today. As many of us enjoy the summer months, I pray that we are able to rejoice in today, seek the kingdom of God, and allow tomorrow to come. I pray that we are able to remember that, as we work hard, God will continue to bless us with today. I pray that we are able to take a moment and thank Him every day for our blessings, and for giving us another day to show our love for Him.

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