Friday, June 1, 2018

Muddle no more

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. 
(Matthew 6:34)

The other day, mom asked me about my BFF's father - if he worried about her like she worries about me. If I don't make it home at a very specific time, she begins to imagine I am in a multiple car pile up and never coming home to her. She has always been one to imagine the worst - even when I was a small child. We used to joke that she worried over what there is to worry about! Worry is a very real thing - because we don't always know what the outcome will be. Would you say you actually know what God is doing in your life right here and now? Are you so consumed with worrying about what might happen sometime into the future that you are missing out on the here and now of God's tremendous love? Worry is a limiting device in our lives - it consumes time and energy that honestly would be best spent in other ways.

Look at Jesus' words - give your ENTIRE attention to what God is doing RIGHT NOW. The focus we maintain today determines the response we will have when we face our tomorrow. That is the key to living strongly rooted lives - focus. If God has our entire attention, there is no room for worry, anxiety, calculations, and schemes. If our focus is correct today, our pathway will be directed by God in our tomorrows - no amount of worry will change his oversight. Even if the pathway is a little rocky or riddled with all kinds of jagged things just waiting to "trip us up", he is there to help us deal with whatever comes up. We don't get caught unaware of the "pathway objects" that attempt to pull us down because he is pointing them out to us along the way - maybe not miles in advance, but quick enough for us to avoid them.

During his ministry on earth, Jesus had spent a great deal of time educating his disciples (his followers) in kingdom living. He had elaborated on the necessity for being "real" in their walk - not being caught up in the pursuit of things that fluff up their ego and diminish the glory he receives from the testimony of their lives. He pointed out that we disciples can be ignorant in our prayer life - using all kinds of "formulas" to attempt to communicate with God, but God really only desires the transparency of our heart. We also do something like 'worrying' our prayers - muddling over the mess of life in prayers - all the while not really handing them over to him, but continuing to chew upon them over and over again. To muddle over those issues time and time again is to say we don't think God wants them, could handle them, or that he is more capable than we are with them!

In addition to these principles of living, he reminds us that there is a connection between prayer and what we do. The concept of "treasure" is often referenced by Jesus as he speaks with his disciples - reminding us that wherever our treasure is (what holds our attention - even if that attention is worry) is exactly where we will end up spending our time! You might be surprised to hear Jesus remind us not to worry about missing out on stuff in life. When our focus is right from the beginning, we will enjoy all the treasures along the way that God has provided for our good. God's kids need to get focused on what God is doing today! It is not about yesterday, or even about tomorrow. Kingdom living is about today - the events, the moments of opportunity, the lessons to employ - all exposed to us in the very passing of this day.

Since we cannot affect yesterday (it has passed us by), nor really be assured of our tomorrow (we don't have any guarantee it will come) - today is our focus. In our "today", God needs to be the primary focus. What new aspect of his care are we realizing today? What lesson about his provision are we given the opportunity to embrace? Who is God placing in our path that needs to see forgiveness modeled so they can better understand the forgiveness of God? Today awaits! Focus your mind on Christ and see what riches are laid up in the day that stands before you. Let go of the worry, because it will only hold you back. Just sayin!