What, me worry???
Matthew 6:24-34 is our text this week. A well-worn, over-worked text about worry...or should I say 'not worrying'?
Jesus starts out telling us that we cannot serve two masters which is true enough. There are plenty of proverbs from other cultures that repeat this wisdom though my favourite has to be "You can't ride two horses with one ass". Sooner or later you have to decide which one will be your foundation or leader. This choice leads into what follows.
Now I confess that I don't worry overly much about these things...my wife is the one who does more than enough for the both of us. However I do plan and save and act in ways that will ensure that my family has food and clothing and shelter. We have made the appropriate investments for retirement income. And I don't think that Jesus is talking about living a sort of laid back, drop out sort of lifestyle here. We have been called to be stewards and managers of God's creation from the very beginning. What he is warning us against is allowing the things out of our control to dominant our lives. For example...
I read in the paper the other day that there is a new food crisis facing our world. Then all the unrest in Egypt, Libya, and other Middle East countries is threatening oil supplies. Further on I came across a story about the 'super bugs' that are developing which are resistant to all our current forms of medicine. And there was more. All these things to worry about. All this stuff to make me anxious about...what? Today? Right now? No! About what could happen...might happen...tomorrow...one day...someday. So there is real wisdom in Jesus words in verse 34 of the text:
"So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings."
Good words. But they still don't answer the basic question...if I am not suppose to worry, then what is it I am suppose to do?
Jesus says, "Be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you..."
So good one...and that means??? Well truth is, I am not sure.
I do know that worry doesn't get me anywhere. In point of fact, worry usually results in a great deal of wasted energy, useless activity and lack of sleep, all of which makes me a bear to live with. Nothing constructive in that.
At the same time, mindless trusting in God's provision can end up in hunger, nakedness and homelessness. Nothing constructive in that either.
Somewhere there is a balance to be found between using the God-given commonsense to plan and manage the life with which God has entrusted me on this earth in this day and time, and trusting God to guide, direct, give me wisdom and ultimately control all that is beyond my control or understanding.
As Shakespeare wrote: "Therein lies the rub."
I am still working on it.