Archive for June 14th, 2007

Do Not Worry About Your Life

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Matthew 6:25-34 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

She was born to unwed teenage parents, she was female, she was black, and she was poor. She began her public speaking career at the tender age of three when she began reading aloud and reciting sermons to the congregation of her church.

He grew up like any other child, but he had a talent that distinguished him from the rest. It was this talent that became his passion. At the age of thirteen, he wrote his first software program, which played tic-tac-toe, all done on rented computer equipment. He and his friend Paul met at that grade school, and their shared interests in computer programming bonded their friendship.

He shared a special bond with his father, with baseball as their first love. However, following his older brother, Larry, whom he idolized and was a spectacular athlete in his own right, he began to play basketball. But as a 5-11 skinny high school sophomore, he was cut from the varsity basketball team.

He sold tennis shoes out of the back of his car in the beginning. His track coach / business partner got an idea, and poured rubber into his wife’s waffle iron to create a new sole for footwear which could grip but be lightweight.

It’s easy to look at Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan and Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike) and want to be like them because of their wealth, fame and power. But if we do that, we’re setting ourselves up for stress and heartbreak before we begin.

Don’t get me wrong — God’s desire for us is that we flourish and thrive. But it’s not the world’s definition of prosperity that we should focus on, nor should we let worries and struggles make us afraid to pursue what we’re meant to do and be.

The author of this passage isn’t saying ‘give up everything, live on the street, sit back and do nothing and trust that God will provide.’ God has dreamed bigger dreams for us that we can ever imagine. And like the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, it’s our job to find a way to live as God created us. By putting God’s purpose for our lives ahead of our material desires, amazing things can happen.

It can be seductive to stay where we are. It’s familiar. It may be comfortable. But we all know (or may be) people who, deep down, are insecure, credit-burdened, and shackled to jobs and lives they no longer recognize — but who are terrified of taking a step toward their God-given purpose because they can’t see how it’s all going to come together and are worried of losing the semi-misery they know and losing their dream as well.

Michael Jordan didn’t stop playing basketball when he was cut from the team. Oprah Winfrey, molested while in the care of her mother, didn’t see how a poor black girl would make it on the news, but she applied anyway and was a TV reporter before she left high school.

Seek first what God is asking you to do. Then, find a small way to do it. Don’t worry about fame, fortune and power. Those are all impermanent and don’t give anyone true fulfillment.

Over the last year, it’s become clear to me that my passion lies in being a writer, teacher, and counselor. So, I’m finding small ways to add that into my life, by writing Be Still articles and being a Children’s Church leader. Who knows what my next steps will be, but I’m happy with the direction I’m heading, and I just try to keep myself focused on God.

Thought for the day: What do you feel God is calling you to do in life? If you’re confused or worried, have you stopped to make sure you’re putting God first in all things?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
Be still and know… is proudly powered by WordPress.