Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Take No Thought

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking though can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to  morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knowest that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."~Matthew 6: 25-34

Take no thought... It's important to realize what Jesus is saying here. He isn't telling us not to think ahead, he isn't telling us not to plan for the future. The word "thought" in this passage is the Greek word merimnaƍ which means to be anxious about, or worry. What Jesus is telling us is that God has my back, he's watching over me, he will provide for me, he is my Jehovah Jireh.

And, as he frequently does, he points to examples in nature about how God has provided and continues to provide for his creation. Behold the fowls of the air; consider the lilies of the field.

How much of our time is spent in pointless worry about things that truly don't deserve more than a passing thought, and about things over which we have no control. We worry about things that might possibly happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. And our imaginations make our problems seem bigger than they truly are.

Leo Buscaglia said, "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy." In other words, worry doesn't have the power to change anything. But it does have the power to paralyze us if we engage in it. Looking at potential outcomes, making informed decisions, and taking specific action, however, can change things.

One of the best ways to go about that is in the passage above: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

In a talk by Jeremy Pearsons on seeking the kingdom, he says something to the effect that the reason everything will be add to you if you seek the kingdom is that's where those things are. Do you want more life? It's in the kingdom. Do you want peace and joy? They are in the kingdom. Do you want love? It's in the kingdom. Every good thing is in the kingdom waiting for us to come on in and help ourselves. Instead, we waste our todays worrying about things that are unlikely to happen tomorrow.

You don't need to look into the future to find things to deal with. Living in the now is enough. Everything that you will need to face and deal with effectively today is sufficient. In fact, today well-lived will take care of all of your tomorrows.

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth.
The glory of action.
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!


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