Crapé Diem

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

Every once in a while Jesus comes up with something you can actually relate to. This isn’t usually the case. Most of the time he says stuff that nobody in their right minds can figure out. I mean, what are you going to do with something like this: “If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.” Like, right. If somebody slaps me on the cheek, I’ll offer him something back all right, but you can bet it won’t be the other cheek (at least not the one on my face). Or how about this one: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Can you say wacko control freak? Talk about your Messiah complex. If that’s the case, then I’m only signing up for adjunct disciple. I may not get full benefits, but I don’t have to attend department meetings either. Overall, I think it’s safe to say that about 98% of everything Jesus says is either impractical or just plain nutzoid. Of course, most Christians know this and adjust their faith accordingly.

But here’s one of those rare two-percenters that actually makes sense. For once Jesus is in touch with reality. Of course, being Jesus, he doesn’t spend much time there, but at least he comes up with a keeper during his very short stop in Realsville. Not that it’s profound or anything; in fact, it’s pretty much stating the obvious: Tomorrow schmorrow; you’ve got a cartload of aromatic hassle today to dig through. Most modern translations use the word “trouble,” but the good old King James gets it right (for once) with the word “evil.” Jesus isn’t just talking bother; he’s talking itshay ittinghay anfay. Preach it, brother.

Just because Jesus spends a lot of time floating in the Platonic ether doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have his share of rotten days. Heck, dealing with twelve spiritual dwarfs is probably enough all by itself to make him reevaluate the savior thing. Then you’ve got all those days dealing with constipated religious leaders who’d just as soon see you stapled to a stick. And then you’ve got the whole passion week: seven days chock-full of unruly crowds, pigeons in the temple, betrayal, rigged trials, beating, mocking, crucifixion, and bad wine. Whoa. Advent gives way to Advil.

Bad days are unavoidable—and you can’t happy your way out of crappy. That’s why the last thing you want when you’re having a bad day is some perky praise the Lord person poking his peppy proboscis into your personal problems. You do not want to hear about attitude adjustments, the joy of the Lord, looking on the bright side, or some tripe about giving thanks in all things. The rule for crappy days is pretty simple: If you’re not the person having one, keep your platitudes to yourself. (Job’s friends found that out the hard way.) The only good thing about a crappy day is being able to complain about it.

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