Is 49:14-15; 1 Cor 4:1-5; Mt 6:24-34
One of the biggest challenges I face in my spiritual life is my tendency to forget that God isn’t like me.
To be more specific – like so many parents, my wife and I keep lists – all sorts of lists – shopping lists, lists of appointments , lists of the activities and meetings are kids are involved in, lists of the calendars upon which we write our lists……. I even started for a time putting post-its on the bathroom mirror so I would be sure to see them while I shaved. It worked for a few months, and then I just started to ignore them.
As a result of this constant anxiety I live with that I am FORGETTING SOMETHING OR SOMEONE, there’s often a carry over in my prayer. I don’t just remind God once about intentions that are important to me. I do it over and over again…just in case God forgets? Or isn’t paying attention?
And when it comes to praying for people? Oy! It’s like making up an invitation list for a wedding….if I invite cousin Cecil, than I have to invite Aunt Mildred, and what about Uncle Mo…….? How can I pray for the starving people in Ethopia and forget about the Sudan? And if I pray for Africa ……what about Asia?
Thanks be to Jesus that this week, into this haze of anxiety that too often passes for my prayer, come these words from Isaiah. God asks: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?” God continues, “Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”
This is why Jesus pleads with us in this Sunday’s gospel reading not to worry. Not only does God know what we need before we do. God knows what we need even if we never figure it out. Imagine what the world would be like – what our lives would be like – if God relied on what we prayed for as the basis for running the universe? (Wouldn’t Justin Beiber be President right now, for one thing?)
So – relax. Put your feet up. Really make this coming Sunday a sabbath, in the best sense of that word. Take the time to appreciate what is good and holy in your life. Leave the To Do list aside for a day.
God has it covered.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
(To find and purchase my full-length reflections on the scriptures, go to www.twentythirdpublications.com. My latest book is entitled, “Make Room for Scripture”.)