Tuesday, June 15, 2010
" When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” Matthew 17:24-27
Yesterday, we spent the early evening in Boston with our daughter Phoebe, helping her find an apartment. She started a job recently and is staying in a temporary set-up but needs something closer to town. It felt an awful lot like fishing - putting a line out and hoping for a fish with a treasure in it's mouth. We flushed toilets to check water pressure, opened up closets, asked about the neighborhood and did all the things one is supposed to do. But it felt like fishing, casting a line into a darkened sea, hoping to pull up just what was needed for that time. And it is hard to do these grown-up things, especially for the first time. Even when you have done them for years, we both felt exhausted from the experience. Delightfully, she found something that was perfect, so now there is just paperwork - the taxes of the renting process.
Jesus was questioned about paying taxes and realized how we humans grieve so much about the cost of living and our daily needs. He wanted his disciples to trust him, as we can trust God, but it is a hard thing for us to do. We worry ourselves to death about taxes and mortgages, tuition and necessities. And to all of that, Jesus sent them fishing, asking them to trust God to fulfill even the most basic and taxing needs.
Today, I want to trust God completely for the things I need. For the words to say at the right time. For the strength to complete the tasks at hand, which today, seem almost overwhelming. I will promise to fish, to send my prayer line out into deep, dark waters, waiting for the tug at the end with the treasure and strength that is needed. May today be the day when we trust God for our every need.