Archive for October 25th, 2006

Consider the Lilies

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Please read Luke 12:22-32, out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Morgan Stewart):

This passage is the very words of Jesus Christ as he teaches his followers about freeing themselves from the worries of this world. Note the things Bible folks were presumably worrying about—food, clothes, income, financial security.

As a reformed chronic worrier, I smiled when I read this on an outdoor sign: Worry is like a rocking chair—it keeps you occupied, but gets you no where.

These days, my two-fold antidote for worry is this:

  1. Accept the things you cannot change, and
  2. Pray about the rest.

From the stock market to our sexual orientation to a loved one’s serious illness, worrying about things we cannot change is futile. It was my close friend Pat who taught me this first principle. When her newborn son was born with a congenital heart defect requiring open-heart surgery, I asked, “Aren’t you worried about your baby’s health?” But she was adamant. “My son was not born as healthy as we would have liked, but worrying won’t change that. I’m using my energy to see that he gets the best surgeon and after-care available.” Now that’s the way to stay occupied!

Worry is often a character trait of those obsessed with control and my friend Sheila is typical. As layoff rumors circulated around the water cooler, she worried about losing her job at a local bank. When she expressed concern over the situation, I inquired, “How long have you been praying about this?” She answered, “My coworkers in the lunch room think layoffs will come after the first of the year…” Again, I asked, “How long have you been praying about this?” She continued, “My mom thinks I ought to go back to college but my spouse says….” This time, I squeezed her hand to get her attention, “How long have you been praying about this?” Now with her undivided attention, Sheila answered me honestly, “Well, I haven’t. I haven’t prayed at all. I’ve talked things over with my colleagues, my mom, my spouse and even my sisters—but have left God out of the equation totally!”

How sad and how common! Remember to make God your first — not last — resource in any crisis.

Thought for the day: Take Jesus’ advice to heart, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” What am I worrying about that could be given to God in prayer?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: The Young Adults Oasis, and the group’s leader, Chris Tenpas.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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