Monday, March 9, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 59)

Jesus said, “Who among you, by being fretful, is able to add even a second to the length of their life?”
— Matthew 6:27
Anxiousness is foe most of the time, yet it also inspires us to do better.
But the kind of anxiousness Jesus refers to, above, is the variety that calls into question the very provision of God. Of course, such a fretful way is delirious with insanity. We cannot control our lives in the ways we wish, let alone in the ways that are beyond us — the circumstances that happen to us. The latter is likely to be the type of anxiousness that Jesus has in mind.
We cannot add even a second to our life that God hasn’t already pre-ordained. We cannot remain as we are if we tried. We cannot change ourselves as we wish to change. We cannot fake our regrets away. The truth is the truth. What is done is done. And all we may do is come to an acceptance for what can never be changed.
And the good news?
It is this: we stand at peace, in our unshakable trust in the Lord. We do what only we can do. Nobody can obey in the living of our lives like we can. Nobody else can do what only we can do — in our lives.
If we cannot add or withdraw anything from our lives, what point is it to stress about it? Indeed, to believe that our stressing about something could change the result is the worst folly. But we may feel we can do better in our own strength. Sure, we can.
But why would we choose for doing things our own way — with anxiousness — when we can more easily do things in the Spirit’s strength — which is peace — an incredible sense of power and control, because of our very insistence that we wish God to have all control over our lives?
We redeem all power for the gracious life when we accede to God.
To vouch for the grace of God at any cost is to vouch for the beneficence of life.
To have the faith of a child means to live free of the burden of anxiousness, for the perfect trust that accepts life as it is.
Such a faith expects nothing of life that life can’t give. Such temperance is the gorgeous joy of delight to live very present in the moment, burdened by nothing.
The opposite of anxiousness is joy appended with hope; a delight for what’s coming next. This is the very state of the abundant life of the Lord that every Christian deserves to experience.
1.     What do you worry about? Where does your worry emanate from? How much of the circumstances of your worry can you control?
2.     How about this “joy appended with hope”? Do you know anything of the experience of this? What will you do to bring that circumstance-of-soul closer to reality?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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