Monday, April 22, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happy

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:34

     We spend so much time wrapped up in day to day trials, hardships and daily troubles, we are always looking forward. But not with hope, but with worry. We look forward, trying to control the future: "[while we] do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is [our] life? For [we] are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes" (James 4:14). God has control over what has happened, what will happen, and what is happening. And He has the best plans for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11).
     Our lives our short. In the grand scheme of things, a hundred years is a blink. This doesn't mean we should live a Carpe Diem lifestyle (Carpe Diem has nothing to do with fish, by the way, it is a Latin saying, meaning "seize the day!" and is generally summed up as "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.") but we should use the time we have wisely and not waste it by worrying about the future: "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his span of life?" (Matthew 6:27). Worrying doesn't help. "In every life we have some trouble/When you worry you make it double/Don't worry, be happy," Bobby McFerrin sings in his song "Don't Worry, Be Happy," and he's right. Worrying gets us nowhere; in fact it makes us worse off than before.
     The song fails, however, to give us something to put our hope in instead of worrying. Sure, don't worry; okay, I get that. But you will worry if you don't have something bigger to put your hope in. Christ is that something. Dozens of passages, like Matthew 6, Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 28:26 and more, tell us to trust in God to "lean not on our own understanding" because He has the power and love to keep us safe and cared for.
     Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will 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 why do you worry 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 you of little faith? (Matthew 66:25-26, 28-30)
     I have a 1974 AMC Javelin; I got it a little over a year ago off Craigslist. It was partially restored, but it needed a lot more work. But I had no money. Long story short, I've spent the last year or so spending very little money and looking for a job, with no luck. Eventually I let it go. If God wants me or fix this car, He'll provide the means, monetary and otherwise. At the same time I had been doing some online classes learning digital drafting (Architecture and 3D modeling and such). I had sent a few things to my Dad, who works with an engineering company. He forwarded them to the CAD director, and I have a job starting in May.
     I'm not saying this to make myself look good, but to point to the fact that working toward a goal and trusting God to help you is much more productive than worrying about the problems.
     I'll end with this: "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:31-33). God has our best interests in mind, but our focus has to be on Him. This is no prosperity Gospel, whatever you pray for you'll have, but the Gospel, preached by Christ. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these minor, mundane details will be taken care of. 
Leaping Lizard


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