Written by Mr Tyson Kenny - Deputy Principal
Matthew 6:34 ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.’
I really like this week’s bible verse, as it has many practical applications for students not only in their spiritual lives, but also, in their daily lives as learners at the College. This often includes teachers trying to support students with focusing on what they can do now, in the present, to address any stress factors that might be impacting them. For example, this might concern a student struggling to juggle numerous assessment tasks and meet looming draft and final assessment deadlines. As a College, staff will work closely with students to assist them with breaking these assessments down, to the point where students should have a clear plan of what they can do each day, and including right now, to allay any assessment stress and attempt each task to the best of their ability.
This particular verse, however, is often open to interpretation, and therefore application, where it can sometimes be interpreted rather differently than what I’ve detailed above. Famous Swiss theologian and professor, Ulrich Luz, believes that there are two main interpretations of this verse: an optimistic and a pessimistic one. The optimistic view is that this verse is a rephrasing of the ancient idea of ‘carpe diem’, live each day to its fullest because one never knows what will happen tomorrow. The more pessimistic view is that the evil of each individual day is so great and so overbearing that it is hard enough to get through one day, much less worry about those coming. Luz argues that while the previous verse is optimistic, in the long run the Kingdom of Heaven will be proclaimed and all will be well, in the short run the future is little more than misery.
I personally struggle with this pessimistic view; however, I do acknowledge when reading certain newsfeeds, one might take the view that there are more negative things happening in our world. Whilst I do not believe this is the case, the nature of media often results in the more negative news being shared.
When discussing this bible verse with students, I’m reminded of a devotion I shared at chapel last term, which referenced 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (ESV) ‘So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.’ This bible passage reminds me that God is love, and that He through his Son brought the Good News of salvation. This news, told through the Gospel, reminds us that no matter the negative news we might hear about on any particular day, or how we might be struggling with a certain stress in our lives at any one moment, God is forever present and available to each of us.
If God is your foundation, then there is nothing to stress over, as He will take care of it for you. If we want to live in the name of God (i.e. to live the Fruits of Faith and to share them in our community), we should focus on realising them in our everyday lives, demonstrated through the choices we make and have control over. If we overthink the future, we often start worrying, which only holds us back from living in the present. Though this bible verse from Matthew reminds us that we might have many challenges to face in the present, we also need to remember the Good News and gift of God’s love shared through the Gospel.
I encourage all students and community members of the College, to live each day facing any challenge with the knowledge that God’s love and His gift of grace is available to all of us. Sure, we might need to make choices in our daily lives to navigate our way through certain challenges we may be facing; however, knowing that God’s love is forever available to each of us, through a relationship with Him, no worry or particular stress that we might be experiencing cannot be overcome.
Yours in Christ