Thursday, March 12, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 62)

Jesus said, “So then don’t be anxious, asking, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’”
— Matthew 6:31 (USC)
How we might waste the precious God-given energies we possess!
If we are hampered by the ideas of our lower needs — unless those needs are things we ought rightfully to be concerned about — then our more urgent needs of the hour do not prevail over our consciousness. Again, waste.
And not only cognitive waste; a waste of thought. Such anxieties are also a waste of our spiritual fortitude, for which we are blessed to contain and hold for ourselves in order to pour into others’ lives. Fretting over things that are right before us is choosing to not enjoy them as real experiences to be had. God has given them to be had, and not to be judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
God provides. We consume. What is given as good is given that we might enjoy as good. The items of sleep, food, drink, clothing, and shelter are so basic, yet we are neither to take them for granted nor are we to stress about their provision. They are.
If they are not, then we have a problem. But if they are — i.e. we have them — what more thought or consideration do we need to make of them? We are thankful.
Concerns over those basic things that God provides, simply by the affluence of the part of the world we live in, is a waste of time. As we are able to harness the thoughts in our minds, becoming aware, gradually by habit, instead of worrying for basic needs, we ought to thank God for his ample provision.
Of course, the disciples and their contemporaries had little else to be concerned about, other than the persecutions they will have suffered as a result of their socio-economic status and religious persuasion. But we, too, are often concerned for the same things.
So, instead of worrying about the things that God in his goodness provides, we ought more to be thankful for them.
A brief comment about time: we can also stress uselessly about time. I have. I do. At my best I accept my time. At worst I’m frustrated about my lack of time (for myself, for recovery, for God). But time is something God provides us all in more or less equal portion. It’s up to us to accept our time.
1.     What are you most beset by regarding anxiety for the basic needs of life?
2.     How are you incorporating prayers and meditations of thankfulness and gratitude in your devotional life for the basic needs you are given?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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