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Do Not Worry

November 9, 2008

These are worrisome times we are living in. There is an unprecedented global financial crisis, economic recession, threats of terrorism, a never-ending war, more and more layoffs, an enormous government deficit, and crappy projections for Holiday spending. It’s just bad news all the way around. Add this pile of stink to the routine madness that you and I deal with daily, as a matter of course. Like trying to raise decent kids, and maintain a good marriage, and paying all the bills, and the house is a mess, and the ailing parents, the career pressures, friends dying of cancer, too many church committee obligations, every organization is asking you for money all the time, and what is that red spot on my shoulder? Was that there before?

It seems as if the sheer weight of responsibility that goes with being an adult in the modern 21st century can just about break us sometimes.

So, I’m in somewhat of a gloomy mood as I sit down to read my daily dose of scripture this morning, and I bet you are now too, if you weren’t before. In keeping with His extraordinary sense of humor and good timing, God has lined up for me today a very propitious passage. As I open my bible to the book-marked page at Luke 12:22-33, my eyes are immediately drawn to a bold heading above the verses I’m about to read. It says, in a very objective and authoritative, yet casual, italicized font:

Do not worry.”

“Funny,” I think, with a nod to God. I read the passage with great concentration and an earnest desire for tranquility. Jesus is encouraging the crowds with words of comfort and reassurance about how God will take care of them. Don’t have an anxious mind, He says, because God knows about everything you need. Seek first His kingdom.

It isn’t sinking in.

I read it again, slowly, trying to soak my brain in it. But the grumpy mood is still hovering all around me, distracting me, making faces and kicking me under the table. I remember how our youth director at church, Melissa, gets the kids to visualize bible passages because it helps them concentrate on the message. She has them read a passage and then close their eyes and imagine the scene in vivid detail. It creates more impact, she says. Although some folks at church are suspicious of any bible study tool that involves using one’s imagination, especially a teen-ager’s. I decide to give it a try, to visualize the passage. I take a very deep breath and blow it all out very slowly and close my eyes.

Lilies of the field. Treasure in heaven.

I see Jesus standing on the rugged mount. It’s a sunny middle-eastern afternoon, the wind is gusting through his shoulder-length and surprisingly well-conditioned brown hair, and billowing around his super-white 100% organic cotton robe. The disciples are all sitting around his feet in their raggedy, itchy, burlap robes, listening attentively and in eager expectation. I listen to the voice of Jesus on the mount, and I let my thoughts float along on the Jerusalem winds.

Do not worry. Do not be anxious.
Put your treasure in heaven.
Treasure in heaven. Treasure.
Treasure. Money.
Tuition payment. No, two tuition payments
Recession. No bonus this year.

Crap!

Should have saved more.
Idiot stupid idiot
Bad steward
Idiot stupid.

I try to take in the comfort of this wonderful passage from Luke, but my worried mind is going elsewhere, and I find that I am becoming alarmingly cynical towards that sweet bible passage. This happens to me every now and then – I’m trying to get comfy with Jesus, but this harsh, skeptical, cynical voice butts in and ruins everything. And I feel compelled to see where it’s going to take me.

To be continued at Do Not Worry 2 – The Challenge of Domestic Life.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2008 2:19 pm

    Aren’t we messy minded folk? Sometimes I just want to run around screaming at the top of my lungs, SNAP OUT OF IT, to myself most of all. Praise God, He loves us in spite of our messy minds.

    By the way, Bradyley, I mentioned you again on my blog in yesterday’s post, “7 or 8 Things I Love About Myself”.

    Diane L. Harris
    http://www.steppingintothelight.net

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