Worrying – March 24

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:25–34 NLT)

For nearly forty years at the end of the nineteenth century, Niagara Falls became the destination of note for tightrope walkers. Much of this was fueled by the first person to cross the falls and one of the biggest tightrope showmen, Charles Blondin. After the first crossing, and with competitors lining up to make their own crossings, Blondin continually upped the ante. His many trips across the Niagara Falls gorge included crossing while blindfolded, while on stilts, while pushing a wheelbarrow, or while carrying his manager on his back. During one of his most outrageous crossings, he carried a stove and utensils on his back to the middle of the wire, lit a fire in the stove, cooked an omelet, and lowered this fresh breakfast to passengers on the deck of a boat below him. By some estimations, Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope a total of three hundred times. All of his tightrope feats, whether at Niagara or elsewhere, were completed without the aid of a safety net as he believed that preparing for disaster only made one more likely to occur.

There are times when God invites us to walk a tightrope over raging waters, trusting that he will get us to the other side, and it can often be that our trust in God in these big moments is nearly absolute. After all, we are only following where he is leading, and there is not much we can do if we do fall. Yet, in the small, everyday moments of life, this nearly absolute trust in God is not quite as easy to come by. Instead of leaning on God to provide our daily bread and care for our everyday needs, it can be all too easy to fall back on our worries and anxieties about what the day will bring.

Instead of worrying about what might be, Jesus invites us to direct our attention to something more tangible: his Kingdom. Jesus says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” As we seek God’s Kingdom, we will soon find that the headspace we previously reserved for worrying is better occupied with advancing the Kingdom in this world and in our lives.