Jesus. Now you’re just being obnoxious.

God thinks he is soooooooooooo funny, I know it. I know he is snickering somewhere, because this is like a bad practical joke, like when I was ten and I hid these tiny pull-string firecrackers behind all the doors for my grandma to find. [that was mean.]

But for real, I am a victim here. For the past five months he’s been dropping this ONE passage back into my life at least once a week. Of all the things I want to hear from God, the thing I’m not interested in hearing is the one he chooses to throw all subtlety aside for. I stand unamused.

So here it is:

“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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If 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—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
-Matthew 6:25-34

This is not even one of those cool verses you can tell people about, like “me and the Holy Spirit discovered this verse in the middle of Joel last week”. But the other normally-ubiquitous verses haven’t been around much. Proverbs 3:5-6? Jeremiah 29:11? Off haunting someone else’s every footstep, I suppose.

There’s just this one, mocking me, kindly and calmly exhorting me to do something which is literally not possible. I’m tired of it, especially when I keep rounding corners and it smacks me in the face like a low-hanging lamp at a trendy restaurant. And besides, I have some great excuses. After you graduate, unemployment isn’t cute anymore – it’s your job to worry.

I’d like to transition here to a meek and humble self-response, about how God is really a patient and insistently wise father, not a cruel ten-year-old. But if I’m being honest [and I am, it’s this new thing I’m trying out] then I can’t write that. If I’m being honest, I’m just pissed. I don’t care that Jesus’ words are true and gentle and lovely but challenging, and it doesn’t matter that I involuntarily memorized this passage doing a Greek project on it this semester so that it should be part of me now.

If I’m being honest, I don’t know what it means to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, but I haven’t tried very hard to find out.

I’m not ready for this passage we all throw around like some kind of harmless fun bouncy ball. Because if I truly let its light shine any deeper into my life, the way it wants to, it’s going to worm its way in there and start messing everything up and I ALREADY HAVE THINGS ARRANGED THE WAY I WANT THEM.

[Because that’s how I want them, that’s why.]

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  1. When I was finishing my grad work I interviewed for a satellite communications job and the space shuttle blew up before I received an offer and I asked "Why"… LAter I got laid off from a job only 5 months after buidling a new house and having a family to support… I've seen numerous comanies I worked for be shuttered and got laid off again only 4 months after joining a company… and I asked why. Then I watched my children grow up with hearts for helping other people. I saw them make a difference in other peoples lives because they chose to focus on people and not on 'things'. I was convicted by their decisions to help other people for nothing in return and to focus their lives in ways to help others rather than to make more money… and in contrast I feel trapped by the need to make the house payment and keep gas in the cars and pay to maintain and insure all my 'things'. I totally understand where you are. But I've seen the other side also. In the passage you are focused on the command: Seek first his kingdom. Remember that his kingdom is inclusive of all those people that have been around you and that you have served unselfishly, and those people in your future who need the same. Now try to focus on the promises in the scripture: God takes care of the birds, and he will take care of you.Just because you have a dgree ans walked across the stage doesn't make you a different person. Your job now is to continue to "Seek his Kingdom".

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