I like to say that I don’t get stressed. It’s true that I’m not a very stressful or stressed-out person. But the truth is that while I don’t often get stressed over events, I do get overwhelmed by my own thoughts and plans and to-dos. I’m affected by failure. I get annoyed when I fail to do something I thought I could or should have done. I get angry when I feel like I won’t be able to deliver on people’s requests. I’ve got a lot of expectations and goals and ideals that I will never attain, and this can make me very irritable and disappointed.
One Sunday, I was singing along to the gospel song “One Day at a Time.” I felt a surge of the frustration that had been smoldering for the whole week and I was inspired to really speak these words to Jesus, picturing Him in front of me.
“One day at a time, sweet Jesus,”
As I sang the first line, I sang it straight to Jesus and put all my feelings of overwhelmed anger and ineptitude into each word. But before I could carry on with the despondent warble, I heard His voice in my head, and He was singing the next line to me:
“That’s all I’m asking of you.”
I literally went silent in the middle of everyone singing around me, because He had just flipped the entire song on its head. I’d always read that song as the singer petitioning God to stay with her. She just wants one day with Him, just enough strength and vision to do what she needs to, and just enough of Jesus to make it through a day.
But I suddenly realized that it hadn’t been God asking me for all those changes, long-term plans, and personal improvements. It had been me. I had been requiring more than a day from myself, I had been requiring all of these alterations and long-term improvements from myself, but God was just asking me for one day. All He asked was for me to be faithful one day at a time.
Now, when I remind myself of what He sang to me that day, I definitely feel less like a failure for what I didn’t manage to do yesterday and what I won’t be able to do tomorrow. Because living right now, one day at a time, is the only thing I can do.