Wednesday, April 28, 2021

your Father knows

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 7:25-34

I typed all those words out and as I did, each one went through my mind as the rinse cycle on my dishwasher goes through all of my silverware.  Reading aloud or copying words is allowing the words to wash over you and to bring clarity to familiar words or phrases. As much as we crave new ideas to consider and solve, it is the comfort of the familiar and known that we also need. Each day we are given opportunities to have both in our waking hours. 

I keep several notebooks serving different purposes. In one, I copy down Bible readings and thoughts, quotes from books or articles I'm reading or my own thoughts and opinions on current events or topics. Some refer to this as a commonplace notebook. I've done this as long as long as I can remember so I didn't know it had a name until a few years ago.

In another notebook, I write down projects and household responsibilities along with titles of books, music or films and names of people, groups or topics I want to investigate further whenever I make time. It's a messy record of my mind and would be of little value to anyone but me. Two years ago, I started keeping a page for each week of notes and by the end of the year, I could trace origins of things that started earlier in the year and wound their way into various ideas and recommendations found elsewhere. Sometimes I allow myself a quiet bragging moment where someone I learned about or started following in some manner later showed up as being recommended by others. Or something that captured my imagination in one area proved to be interesting in another application or experience and seeing the connection brought a warm feeling of delight and recognition.

Wherever my mind goes, so does my hope. When I am fretting, I see very little reason to truly hope. I hold back in an attempt to protect my heart from hurting with disappointment. But when I take time to soak in the words of Life and other truths I encounter, my hope is refreshed and my thinking is rinsed with the words of the Holy Spirit. As I move through my day, I can see how my mind is affected by worries and concerns, old and new. So the battle to guide and replenish the mind with comfort and truth is constant. 

I started to write a separate post about a quote from a thick novel I am slowly working through by Catholic writer, Michael O'Brien entitled The Island of the World, but I am going to end this post with it instead. I see it as a reminder of what hope looks like and why believing in the ultimate success of Christ's ever-growing Kingdom is relevant to my life and those around me.

"Well, we have enough evil right now. It looks as if they will never lose power."
"Yes," she nods, musing, "it looks that way. But we can still live as if their days are numbered."

1 comment:

  1. I feel like I already told you that I have Island of the World on my shelf and really want to read it! Your mentioning it here is one more gentle reminder for me.

    Also, your perseverance in writing and bringing your thoughts captive is encouraging. "So the battle to guide and replenish the mind with comfort and truth is constant." I was just listening to a podcast this morning, criticizing the ideas behind this bumper sticker: "Relax, God is in control!" The speaker reminded us that our Sabbath rest comes later, after the final Resurrection. Now, it's work, it's a battle... Praise God that it's joy in the Lord at the same time.

    God bless your family!


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