There is a moment in the long-ago television show Thirtysomething that has stayed with me all these years. One of the main characters was an avid environmentalist who didn’t drive a car. He rode his bike in all seasons, and his friends worried that he would be hit by a car, or slide on the ice and fall into traffic, or hit a pothole and break his ribs, or get stung on the tongue by a bee and go crashing off his bike and then skid ten yards into traffic.
No, wait. That’s my bicyclist-husband Ben’s resumé. The bicyclist on the show was suddenly killed off in one episode, and yes, it was a car accident, but the unexpected twist was that he happened that night to be a passenger in a car that was hit by a drunk driver.
Isn’t that always the way? We decide on the things we’ll worry about, and devote our sleepless nights and years to them, and sometimes the things we’ve worried about happen right on schedule, but more often it’s the things we never saw coming that take us to our knees. That’s what Jesus meant by sufficient for a day is its own evil. Every day brings its own challenges, and then blessed sleep repairs our psyches and prepares us for the next day. Or, as the Genesis author wrote so beautifully about God’s work in the six days of creation, evening came, and morning followed.
There was, of course, that anguished, sleepless night in Gethsemane, and the terrible events of the next day. But Good Friday came, and Easter followed. Jesus has won the right to tell us to cease worrying.
Over which worries have you lost way too much sleep?