“Life by the yard is hard. Life by the inch is a cinch.”
Have you ever heard those words of wisdom? Oh, how applicable they are to us today!
The words originate from Christ’s words in Matthew 6:34. This verse commands us not to worry or be anxious about tomorrow. But why should we not worry about tomorrow? The rest of the verse explains not to worry about tomorrow because the trouble we inevitably face within each day is enough. Enough means sufficient or plenty for the human soul and psyche to manage successfully.
My husband is a Professional HVAC Engineer who, as you may have guessed, is knowledgable about design, construction and thermodynamics. Over the years I have often heard him say, “It’s not rated for that.” By rated, he means that a certain piece of equipment was not designed or recommended for a particular situation.
For example, last week we had to move some furniture to Athens and were selecting a trailer to haul it. We had to go with the smaller trailer because our hitch was not rated to pull any more weight than the smaller trailer could carry. Had we selected the larger trailer we would have had a much easier time loading the furniture, but potentially a much more difficult time reaching our destination without serious mishap with the hitch malfunctioning and furniture being strewn all over the highway.
Just as the hitch was designed or rated to carry a limited amount of weight to avoid mishap, so were we. Our bodies, souls and psyches are our personal pieces of equipment designed intentionally and specifically to operate within these reasonable limits and for our benefit! In our hurried, rushed, stressed-out, take-on-more-than-you-can-possibly-handle culture, it might seem brazen to swim against the flow and refuse to worry about tomorrow. Yet this is exactly what we must do if we want to live life in pace with our Creator’s design for our bodies, minds and spirits.
Our Creator knows that according to the laws of the universe that he lives best who lives life by the inch: each day resembling an inch; each month a yard. Living by the inch is choosing to live according to Matthew 6:34, one day at a time.
But what about the panicky thoughts whispering in our consciences, “I can’t refuse to worry about tomorrow because if I don’t, then who will?!” I think that question is implicit within Matthew 6:34. And therein lies our challenge.
In order to sort things out, we must go back to the One who spoke such audacious words. If He spoke those words about not worrying, then they automatically lead back to Him as Almighty God. I think He might respond to our secret inquiries by asking, “Aren’t you leaving (eh-ehm) Someone out of the picture here?”
If we are instructed specifically not to worry, then what are we instructed to do instead? Well, let’s back up one step to the preceding verse, Matthew 6:33. It says, “…seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” All these things means all the upcoming things you want to worry about.
Firstly, Matthew 6:33 instructs us on what to do. Secondly, Matthew 6:34 instructs us on what not to do. These two verses are right beside each other for a reason. If we put them together and apply them to our lives, we can choose intentionally to seek (6:33) living life by the inch instead of to worry (6:34) living life by the yard.
All these things are naturally coming down the pike for our provision. When we choose to worry about them, we are interfering in the provisional process and creating static in our line of communication with Him. Let’s remember those words of wisdom from Matthew, refusing to worry. And let’s enjoy living with less stress and receiving naturally all these things.
So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.