Tomorrow’s Problem

One of my favorite sayings is “Life is Plan B.” After spending almost 50 years on this planet I can attest to its utter and complete accuracy. Actually, sometimes life is Plan C or even Plan D. I think you get the point. We make plans and then constantly adjust or totally scrap them depending on our present day circumstances.

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Jesus’ statement of taking no thought for the morrow may seem extreme but ultimately it seems to me maybe he was actually on to something, especially on a macro-level. Preston Harold expounds:

Planners for the morrow are ever bedeviled and bemused by the inertia of the masses who go on propagating and resist the change planned for their good. And planners for the morrow are befuddled by the creation of a new problem with the solving of an old one. Robert Heilbroner presents as “quintessential fact” that massive inertia which resists change is “responsible for more of ‘history’ than all the campaigns, the movements, the revolutions,” and he says that at the level of society which is visible only as personal and private encounters, the level at which life is lived, life remains much the same regardless of the new boundaries in which it is contained.

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Harold goes on to ruminate that Jesus seems to have seen that mankind comes finally to think of tomorrow in terms that rob today of its pleasure and numb the will to tackle future problems in the only way they can be alleviated: by solving those that confront mankind today…

Jesus says, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow,” but He does not teach that man should live in a witless, indolent manner. In practical terms, “looking ahead,” investing, sowing, tending, reaping, preparing for the arrival of the future, are today’s job as described in His very down-to-earth parables. These command man to the day’s tasks that he may meet the morning with joy, considering the lilies of the field, hearing the song of the sparrows that surround him now, even in his cities. It was toward the level of actual existence that Jesus addressed His words in the Sermon on the Mount – that is to say, He spoke of the ability of the system in which life is contained to support it satisfactorily whatever the tomorrow men envision as the “look ahead.” How can this be, in the face of the second law of thermodynamics? The legend of Jacob presents a clue.

We will look at the story of Jacob and his ladder in our next entry. Until then, peace.

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