“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life.”
So now are you going to blame me for my anxieties on top of all this? (Drinking and carousing don’t even register on my personal Richter scale. Darn!)
You know I wasn’t real happy about this passage when I
started talking to you about it this morning. But suddenly it made sense.
In mind’s eye, I pictured your world. There I was in village
Palestine surrounded by gossiping women at the well (so much like those
from my home town) and hair splitting religious authorities just waiting
for someone to blow it. Aha! No wonder people were anxious about what others
thought of them.
And there you were – daringly telling people to focus on the
essentials of building relationships with God and each other instead of trivia.
That’s still your message to us today.
How often do we get angry and anxious over a small battle at
work that we won’t remember in two days? How often do we take perverse pleasure
in some version of “gotcha” with someone we don’t particularly like? How
often do we make someone else anxious for fear of what we might be saying
or get bent out of shape because of what someone thinks of us?
I realize how much energy I sometimes waste stewing about nonessentials
instead of praying for “strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.” There are plenty of real things to worry
about. God knows the difference and will help us through those.
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