Dispatch Ninety-Nine

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Twenty-Fifth Bundle
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Matthew 6:24-34

24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

We have all come across people who are intent on singing nothing but affirmations, insisting that every problem has a solution – or even that there really aren’t any problems in reality, only in our minds. Cheer up and look on the bright side! It’s all going to be all right; even better than you can imagine.

Then there are the opposite types, who see the cloud under every silver lining. Life is hard and the payoff is meager – usually less than you need or expect. It’s best not to get your hopes up because tomorrow everything could come crashing down. What’s the point in wishing for something better, if day after day it’s just more of the same?

Optimists and pessimists disagree as to whose view on reality is more realistic. Either everything is the sweet fragrance of roses or the sharp stab of thorns, but it can’t be both. Enter Jesus.

Truth is, life can be turned either way depending on the story you want to tell. In the end, however, neither optimists nor pessimists get out alive. This fact can pull your nose down into the muck or inspire you to pin your dreams on pie in the sky. For his part, Jesus counseled his followers to relax into life and have faith in the providence of God, as they also meet the troubles of each day with wisdom and responsibility.

His metaphor of the “kingdom of God” carried the priorities of mindfulness, compassion, outreach, and forgiveness – practical commitments that help to keep the most important things in perspective. When you are fully engaged in this way, there is no time for regret or worry; yesterday is gone and tomorrow is still to come – or it may not come at all. Now is where you find your invitation to life in its fullness.

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