Monday, August 10

Nothing to Worry About

I am blessed. I wake up every morning in an air conditioned room. I do not have to worry about how I will get to work or if I will have enough gas money. I do not even have to worry about job security. On any given day at any given time I can choose exactly what I want to eat and where I want to eat it. If I want to watch a movie, I watch it. If I need a new piece of clothing or item for my house, I buy it. I never have to worry about running out.

I'm an elementary school teacher. I don't have the highest pay in the world; but compared to the rest of the world...I'm doing pretty well. I have every one of my teeth and even though they are not pearly white like the commercials...I can still flash an attractive smile without being embarrassed. I have the privilege of taking showers every day. I have a place to call home. I went to college...and although I have a considerable amount of loans to pay back...I am able to pay them back.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately; thinking about how I get grumpy when I am hungry or tired or upset that things have not gone the way I wanted them to.

On recent Monday nights Adam and I have had the privilege of meeting with about 100 people who are surviving on the streets. They are young and old, men and women, and every one with a different story to tell. Tonight I met Curtis. I thought he was going to try to hustle me. He didn't. He asked if I knew of a place where he could go to get him some assistance for getting to New Orleans. He has heard there is work there, lots of work. He can't find work here, can't catch a break. He has been robbed; not only of money but his i.d. He says there is no way to hustle on these streets because the cops are so strict. Curtis needs a bus ticket to New Orleans. I sympathized with him, feeling helpless as to being able to give any real direction or advice. He said that was okay and talked about how God takes care of him no matter what. He told a story about how he went to the farmer's market last weekend and asked if anyone could give him work. He told them he was so hungry and just needed some money for food. They loaded him down with corn and melon and all kinds of produce. He said he just sat there eating and someone came by, handed him $5 and said, "God bless you." "God always takes care of me", he said. Curtis was not grumpy. He was thankful. He had a vision. I know God is taking care of him.

When we got back to Adam's place tonight, we talked about not taking what God has given us for granted....not wasting any resources...and also not despising them. It is so easy to forget how good God has been, to forget that all that we have is truly from Him. We do not gain wealth on our own. We do not live comfortably and peacefully because of anything we have done. Everything we have is because He has provided. God forgive me for the times when I have acted so entitled to the provision that you have so graciously placed in and around my life.

Matthew 6:25-34
25"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? 26Look 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? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If 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? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.