First Thoughts, Monday November 24th

photo-7It is monday morning.

I am thinking about rubbing my coffee cup looking for a genie.  I could use a genie.

When we say, “I trust God,” what does that mean?

In the gospel of Matthew, starting in chapter 5, Jesus is strolling around a hillside.  He is riffing.  It may in fact be the greatest riff in human history,  one long free-association, filling four pages of my Bible with red letters.

At one point Jesus is distracted by some flitting sparrows and then, a moment later, by colorfully adorned wild flowers. Being the perfectly enlightened person that he is, Jesus sees every single thing as theology and his feather and flora companions are no different.

So Jesus says:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Do I really trust God?

Do I trust God, or do I trust my stable paycheck?  Do I trust God or do I trust my 401k? Do I trust God or do I trust my bank account and sound financial philosophy?  Do I trust God or do I trust Dave Ramsey? Do I trust God or do I trust stock market projections?

I have lived places in the world where people regularly had only a few pennies in their pocket and yet walked freely and lightly through their day.

Jesus said, “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” The point of the passage is not about being free of worry (this is not “self-help”) .  The point of the passage is that worry… anxiety… fretting is all a big distraction from that which is more important.  Focusing on provision constipates our souls.

God is not a transaction.

God is a person.

This seems like a good week to focus on thankfulness.  I want to focus, not on all the things God has given me (transaction), but to rest in gratitude for the loving person who walks beside me.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.”

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