Worrying is for the Birds

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Worrying is for the Birds

I am a planner and a worrier. I like to know what is going to happen and I like to be prepared. I tend to get caught thinking about all the what ifs. That is why when I hear Jesus say, “do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Matthew 6:34), I know he is talking to me.

I am pretty sure there is nothing wrong with planning for and being concerned about the future. It would be irresponsible not to. So, just what is Jesus trying to teach us by pointing out that the sparrows don’t worry about the future (Matt 6:26)? Are we just supposed to sit back and do nothing?

I don’t think that Jesus is calling us to be slackers. Rather, he wants us to live a balanced life. He doesn’t want us to spend so much time planning for and worrying about what’s next so that we miss what’s now. Jesus is leading us to center our lives on God’s kingdom and to be open to do what we can do in the here and now.

Jesus is also trying to spare us from unneeded worry. He is telling us about the foolishness of worry and the faithfulness of God. We don’t need to worry, nor do we need to over-plan. It doesn’t really help. God already knows what we need. He takes care of the birds and will provide for us.  

God my Father, I confess that I find it quite easy to worry, but I realize that it is foolish and it demonstrates a lack of faith in you. Thank you for giving me the example of the little birds who simply rely on your providence and protection. May I grow in trust knowing that you will provide for all my needs according to your holy will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen