Sunday, August 27, 2017

Look at the Wildflowers

From Matthew 6:26-34 (The Message translation):

Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to God than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion - do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, 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 appearance of wildflowers - most of which are never even seen - don't you think God'll attend to you, take pride in you, do the best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way God works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how God works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

These verses are definitely some of my most treasured lines of Scripture, because I need to hear them the most.

Lately, I have been doing some heavy reflecting as my novitiate year nears its end. I have gone back into old journals and found that, even though I don't remember some things at all, I was dealing with all the same stuff back then but it was just in a different, previous year of my life. I was writing about fear of failure, lack of trust, and other issues that put on full display my humanity. So when these lines from Rainer Marie Rilke came into my email the other day, I had a little chuckle.

And you wait, keep waiting for that one thing
which would infinitely enrich your life:
the powerful, uniquely uncommon,
the awakening of dormant stones,
depths that would reveal you to yourself.

In the dusk you notice the book shelves
with their volumes in gold and in brown;
and you think of far lands you journeyed,
of pictures and of shimmering gowns
worn by women you conquered and lost.

And it comes to you all of a sudden:
That was it! And you arise, for you are
aware of a year in your distant past
with its fears and events and prayers.

-Remembrance

It [life] has all already been, currently is, and will be in the future. Because it's not just the trying stuff that I am encountering as I look back, but it is also the joys. So (again) the call is to trust, to believe that each moment is enough, that God gives me exactly what I need, that faith in the Divine is where I should place my attention. Present moment--wonderful moment, indeed.

Let us join with the father of the boy possessed by a demon: "I do believe. Help my unbelief."

Let us walk in the holy presence.