Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Words to Take to Heart

The quadrennial election year drama is over. The economic boom went bust, and investments have lost all their lustre-- valuations are so low, we don't even need to keep up with them any longer! Things are relatively calm on the war and terror front. Careers don't seem so certain to be what we envisioned, nor are we certain they ever will be. A job may now be just that, a job (and thank God for it!).

Maybe we should see all this derailment and depression as a godsend. Can we truly say the church was paying attention to what it should have been of late? Oh, there were plenty of distracting opportunities to learn about "Christian" investing, "Christian" recreating, "Christian" businesses, "Christian" politicking and "Christian" dominion, but events have surpassed such concerns and who wants to bother with such pablum now? It seems a bit pointless.

Now that we're shaking ourselves awake in this brave new world, coming to after a stunning blow to the head, maybe we can see with new clarity what really matters, what is really worth expending our limited time, treasure, and effort on. We've spent ourselves on the worldly and look what we've gotten in return. Not only are we worse off than we were four years ago, we're worse off than we were 12 years ago! There's really nothing compelling left to distract us from what really matters any longer.

Can we finally take Jesus' words to heart?

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Matthew 6:19-34 NIV