Lessen Dread by Taking Things One Day at a Time

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by Ryan Berhar |

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Refined By Fire Ryan Berhar

Coming up with topics to write about can be a challenge. I was trying to settle on a topic yesterday, and it occurred to me that I have yet to cover my life philosophy: “One day at a time.” This concept has entirely transformed my life. I live by it every single day. I even have it tattooed on my arm. 

It was introduced to me through an online sermon about 10 years ago. The pastor brought up a variety of trials each of us might face and drove home the point that we need only to deal with them one day at a time. One point he made that really resonated with me was that to have a great life, we must have great years, and to have great years, we need great months. I’m sure you can see where this is going. Months are made up of weeks, and weeks are made up of days. In the end, it all boils down to days. 

It’s simple, but so powerful if applied correctly. The prospect of living with SMA for the rest of my life is terrifying. Will I physically deteriorate to the point in which I can no longer move at all? Well, let’s hope not, but it’s likely if I never receive treatment. But the beautiful thing is I don’t have to carry that burden now — I only have to make it through today. If I allow it, all of SMA’s implications will swallow me up. But when it comes to my disease’s impact on me TODAY, I can handle that. Maybe you don’t have a physical disability, but whatever you are going through, the concept applies. 

One reason this philosophy had such a profound impact on me is the contrast that I’ve experienced as my perspective has evolved. As a young child, I dreaded the future regularly. The greatest example I can give is my spinal fusion surgery. It was always lingering in the back of my mind. I wasted a lot of emotional energy fretting about the suffering I would one day be forced to endure. Once the day of my surgery arrived, however, I had the strength to handle it. 

Some may see this as nothing more than a crutch to help me get through life, but the beauty is, it’s a biblical principle. Matthew 6:34 says: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” In other words, don’t borrow trouble from the future. It won’t deplete the supply. God promises to give me the strength I need to get through each day, one day at a time.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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