“Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? If you can’t do such a small thing, why worry about the rest?” –Luke 12:25-26
Just as we can be enslaved by seeking the conditional love of others, so can we enslave ourselves by our self-chosen problems and projects.
I have a great deal of difficulty setting aside a problem. Whatever it is, great or small, health-wise or home-wise, it doesn’t matter. I’ll go to bed with it on my mind, then wake up and discover it hasn’t moved.
It’s as if by grabbing it and not letting go, I can magically discern all the unknowns and be prepared.
The engine driving this obsession is “What if…” What if this or that happens? Then what? And, omg, what if the very worst case scenario happens? Then what???
And Jesus says, “Lighten up. You’re not God. A little humility goes a long way. You can’t foresee every what-if. So do your best then have the grace to stop and turn your attention to something else. Like ravens and lilies.”
It’s not a coincidence that in his teaching about not worrying, he threw in the images of birds and flowers (Luke 12:22-31). It’s his subtle way of telling us to expand our field of vision. Move from near-sighted anxiety to far-sighted wonder at the world around you. Birds. Flowers. And, especially, people who, like you, are of more value than anything else in the universe.
If I accept the grace to expand my vision, then my mind will relax. The night hours will be better, and the daytime, better yet.
We want to reach up, but our hands are handcuffed.
Jesus reminds us, though, that we hold the keys.
BOOK OF THE MONTH SELECTION
At the beginning of each month, I note a book that I’ve found interesting and helpful. February’s selection is Fr. Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey. You can read more about it here.