The Troubles of Each Day

‘Sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof.’ (Matt. 6.4) Or should it be ‘evil’?  Or ‘affliction’? However we translate the Greek, we know pretty well what we are on about: the tendency of every day to throw up challenges and difficulties we had rather not face. The big ones are easy enough. It is always humbling, for example, to see how people meet death or disaster or other huge challenges with quiet dignity and resolution. It’s the little ones that catch us out. Yesterday I spilt half a tin of paint on the floor while clearing up after the builders had left. My language was chaste but my thoughts were murderous. Indeed, I was inwardly chuntering for at least half an hour after I had cleared up the mess — and to what end, I ask myself? The truth is that the small troubles of life are the stuff of everyday. Most of us are not called to do great things, but we are all called to live each day as perfectly — lovingly — as possible, to be patient, cheerful and generous. If we have got into the habit of emoting over everything (e.g. spilt paint), perhaps we need to reconsider. What sort of people are we? Are we as little as the trifles we have to deal with, or are we bigger than that?