Saturday 14 January 2023
Evil People Even More So,
So What Are We To Do?
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Words of Grace For Today
Only a fool does not prepare for the cold and blustery storms and long dark nights of winter by working hard when the temperatures are warmer, gathering, cutting, splitting, and stacking wood, repairing the wood stove and chimney, repairing and improving insulation, doors and windows, repairing and upgrading supply- and waste-water systems, and inspecting and repairing vehicles.
Only a fool does not prepare for the storms and winds of spring, summer and fall when the skies are clear by working hard to repair and upgrade roofs, wind breaks, window and door shutters, and tools.
All this so that when the storms come, one has less work to do to survive. Since the storms are getting more fierce, more destructive, and longer one has to prepare in ways that were not imagined necessary just a few years ago.
(You will have to translate these preparations to your own situation, of course. Pity the person who does not have such preparations to make, who has everything done for them by others. They will always have opportunity to find something trite, mundane, or meaningless to worry about.)
When scripture so often admonishes us to have no fear, we often hear that we just ought to relax and let time march on, the world take its toll, and suffer what may come our way. Because every sane person knows that is the fast track to not surviving, we think we can just ignore the words to not fear.
God saw all that before we were formed, before God created anything at all of the universe.
So why does even Jesus tells us do not worry about your life? Is that all nonsense coming from Jesus, or from the writers about Jesus, and maybe Jesus never said such a thing?!
An aside: the shelter is warm next to the wood stove at 53⁰ and it’s only 16⁰ at my feet as I write, so I open the door to warm it up here, knowing my head will bake in 30⁰, but at least my legs and feet will warm up to about 19⁰. So should I worry about what I’m wearing. No, not at all. I prepared as best I can, by raising this area higher than the shelter so the heat rises into it, made sure there was a door to keep the blistering heat out or let it in as I needed, and spent lots of hours of hard work preparing wood … and I bought and wear long johns even inside so that my legs can withstand a bit of cold as I get older.
Which is exactly why I need not worry. What I can do, I’ve done, so that my situation is as good as it can be with the time, resources, and energy I have left in this old body-mind-life of mine.
Worry, or fear, is not a help when one’s situation is as good as it can be or even when one faces terrible circumstances like extreme storms like never before imagined possible in this part of the world.
So one does what one can each day, preparing as best as one can, and then in the thick of it when the storms hit one does what one can. Worry and fear are time-energy-life wasters in all circumstances … as long as one sees the world clearly around oneself and knows enough of what one faces.
The passage from Matthew goes one step further: one ought not worry about one’s food, clothing, etc, because life is more than all that.
And that is precisely it: life is determined considerably by the external things like air, water, food, clothing, and shelter. But even more of life is determined by one’s mind-spirit-body interpreting-dealing with-and responding to the externals.
If we always turn every circumstance into a panic, life will be ugly for us, and probably pretty short. But
even in the worst of circumstances, even ones that threaten one with death, life can be a wonderful miracle to experience.
So much of one’s circumstances are beyond one’s control, so living free from fear and worry (and all that entails, and steals from us) after one has done what one can do to survive the storms (and attacks by other people!) provides already the blessings for us that God saw were ours to enjoy, and so God created the universe for us to live and love and
try not to worry or fear the unknown so much that we lose life itself, even if we keep breathing.
There are always more than enough people who would do us in, given the opportunity. Fearing them gives them a win and us a lose even before that opportunity arises, and helps that opportunity come sooner. Still there is caution to be exercised concerning people of evil intent.
But God saw that before we were anything more than possibilities as time began. So we need not worry about that.
Only a fool would worry and fear things so that life is beyond this day’s possibilities. (And God saw that we would be fools many times over and God still created us. That’s the miracle!)