Friday, October 29, 2010
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life. If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:22-31
Our yard is full of lilies in the spring. This is a common phenomenon for clergy, especially those who live in rectories. The church is festooned with lilies at Easter, seemingly hundreds of them, and when they begin to droop we try our best to get rid of them. Some people take them home, and we often distribute them to shut-ins. Inevitably there are lilies in abundance left over. They are set aside usually, waiting until fall when the bulbs can be planted. I have dozens of bulbs in my garage that need to be planted soon. This has happened year after year here, as the yard is an explosion of lilies. It is a glorious and beautiful sight. Even if I didn't plant a single new bulb there would be hundreds of lilies all around, breathtakingly gorgeous with their promise of life.
Jesus tells the people who will listen not to worry. God is taking care of us. He uses the lilies and the ravens as explanations. He talks about Solomon and his glory, the beauty of the created world and tells us that God is even more attentive to our needs and our lives. How many of us really believe that? We wake up with worry and lie down at night only to toss and turn. We grieve ourselves and those we love with our anxiety and our concern.
Today, I want to give all my worry over to God. I figure if I pray every time I start to worry, that will be one way of replacing worry with prayer and turning it over to God. There is plenty to be anxious about, in my life and others, and I want to learn a new way of living, a way of responding, with complete trust in the one who created us so well.