I love a good mystery. So, when I flip channels looking for something to watch on TV, I tune in to the TV show called Monk. Monk is a brilliant detective who can solve the toughest homicides with little to no evidence. Even so, Monk suffers from depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Despite his disability, Monk has an uncanny skill to shut off the chaos and use his hands as a grid to focus on what is in front of him.
Although I can’t recommend the entire block of shows—due to individual episodes, which I found a bit risqué, there is one episode called, “Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike,” that is worth viewing, and here’s why. If I remember the story correctly, Monk’s OCD goes into overdrive when the city’s Union workers go on strike, trash begins to pile up all over the neighborhood, and Monk is at his wit’s end.
Meanwhile, someone kills the Union boss, and the Captain of the Police Department needs Monk to solve the crime. Several false starts and dead ends lead the Captain to take drastic measures to clear Monk’s mental state and restore his sleuthing brilliance.
The Captain reaches out to a local laboratory, which houses an empty containment unit that is all white, pumps in only purified air, and is completely sterile. To make sure Monk is in total isolation from the world, the Captain and Monk wear hazmat suits and sit quietly.
It takes a little time, but Monk is finally able to separate himself from the world around him and focus on solving the murder.
There are days when the world comes at us from all directions. We receive bad news from the doctor, we hear about loved ones hurting, we stress over work, we lose our jobs, the bills pile up, relationships become strained, we feel rejection, heartache, and we have to deal with our sin. How are we to sort it all out?
Matthew 6:34 says, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NASB). Although we are people who plan our future, schedule each hour of the day, and calculate our penny’s growth for retirement, God wants us to shut out the “noise” and live only in the present day.
We see that in Exodus 16, when the Israelites begin to worry about how they will fill their bellies when the wilderness offered little meat to eat. Soon, the Israelites dwell on their past and long to return to their slavery, so that they can eat from the pots of meat their Master’s provided. However, God had another plan to test them and to show His faithfulness. In the evening, God caused it to rain fresh quail meat. In the morning, flakes of seed called manna landed on the ground to make bread. Even so, God asked them only to collect enough seeds for that day and no more. If the Israelites stored the manna, the seeds became foul and grew worms. Thus, God desired Israel to rely on Him every day, not their devices.
Therefore, do not borrow sorrow from tomorrow or your past. Plan your future, but don’t allow your mind to dwell on what occurred previously in your life, or what’s to come the next day—live for today. As Job 14:5 says, God has our days numbered and not a moment less or more will He provide.
Remember, Jesus Christ might return for us tomorrow. Won’t we feel foolish spending all that time and energy worrying for nothing?