As part of Lent I started a “read the Bible and the Catechism in a year” program.
It’s funny how those things go – last fall I saw this cool little fold-out card with a daily reading program put out by the Coming Home Network when I was at the last Deep in History conference, brought a couple of home, planned to get started, told a few people that this would be a great idea, thought about it and told a couple of other people, and then … it went on the shelf of good intentions that holds so many other plans and ideas.
That’s a pretty big shelf, btw … maybe it’s even a wormhole or something.
Then what happened? Carol saw it, didn’t say a word but simply started doing it. I didn’t catch on for a couple of months (51 days to be exact), then I noticed her checking off a box one night … and all of a sudden I really, really wanted to get going.
Now finally I had enough motivation to get started. Silly really, but it worked so I’m thankful!
Anyhow all that worked out in time for Lent, which is good because we’ve been running into some kind of intense (personal) financial pressures lately. Probably a post for another day, but today I want to share what this weird set of one year plans, good intentions, post-conference buzz, procrastination, vain motivation, and the passage of time pulled up for my reading in the aftermath of last week’s gut-shot, in the midst of our natural uncertainty this past weekend …
Matthew 6:25 – 34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
<insert swallow-hard here>
Honestly, it often comes down to a simple question – do we trust God or don’t we?
So many times my head says one thing, my heart another, and my feet yet another (as in running away as fast as I can) … yet the plain, simple truth is that the immutable God has left instructions that are about as plain and straight-forward as they come.
When we can live in this true freedom, this freedom from fear, this freedom from want, this freedom to love, then and only then do we begin to live as it was intended for us from the beginning.
This Lent, may I open the door to my heart, turn over my anxieties and fear of the countless unknowns, and simply trust the Eternal One, the One who loved us enough to create us from nothing, loves us enough to stick with us when we aren’t all that lovable, who will love us beyond the boundaries of time … may I simply trust Him completely.