Sunday, October 30, 2011
Gospel Reading - Luke 12:22-32 (from the Message)
22-24He continued this subject with his disciples. "Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
25-28"Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can't even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
29-32"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
Yesterday I awoke in Pittsburgh, PA to snow. Snow!? In October! The picture on this post is from our front window. In the two winters we spent in Pittsburgh we had never experienced snow this early in the year. Normally snow for our family would bring a bit of excitement because it is a sure sign winter and all the festivities that come along with it, is here. The kids would be excited to go outside and play and I would be looking for an excuse to curl up on the couch with something hot to drink. Yesterday, however, snow was not a part of my personal plan. Yesterday we were packing up our most needed possessions into our tiny car and driving our family from Pittsburgh to Plymouth, Mi, where we will hopefully live for some time to come. The snow was not welcome because I knew I was going to have to stand in it to get our car packed.
I set out to accomplish my task as quickly as possible but the snow had other plans. Quick was not a part of the snow's vocabulary because quick movements landed me on my backside covered in a cold muddy mess. After getting changed into new clothes, I set about my task a little more slowly this time. It was very difficult to pack everything we needed into a two door volkswagen golf which also needed to fit three kids and two adults. This would have been a chore in perfect weather but the snow continued to bring extra problems. Our day did not start out well but we eventually got ourselves crammed into the car and got on the road. We all had a little less space than normal since we had to share our seats with clothes, pillows or toiletries and food. This led to quick tempers and cranky kids. The day did not seem to get better as we got caught by a highway patrol speed trap in Ohio and got a speeding ticket in a construction zone with amazingly little construction going on but plenty of cops.
Today's gospel reading is perfect after the day we had yesterday. So much of my life is spent worrying about time. Either the pressure of deadlines looms over me or the guilt of time wasted. Jesus knew that most those around him also worried about things which they couldn't control. I was so worried yesterday about following a schedule and getting to Michigan in my planned time. God was not so worried about my plans and it seemed He even had opposing plans. It very well could have been a test of my trust in Him. Was I going to relax and trust that the God who takes care of the ravens and the wildflowers would also take care of the Thomas clan on our relocation? I am not so ego centric to think that God arranged weather patterns for my own lessons but also know God is intentional enough to take full advantage of the plans He has laid out to form His servants in the likeness of Christ.
We are now safely in Michigan and in the scheme of things our bad day yesterday was pretty trivial. The weather in Michigan is much warmer than the weather we left in Pittsburgh. We arrived here in plenty of time to unpack and relax before having dinner with some new friends. Even the speeding ticket will soon be a distant memory. Our goal now is to try and relax and take things as they come trusting that God will provide exactly what we need as a family. Today the Thomas' will choose to bless God by praising Him for all He has provided is with.