Monday, August 09, 2010

Planning or Worrying

When Gabriel came to Mary to tell her she'd have a baby, she responded in faith, "Let it be to me according to your word." When Jesus suffered and died for our sins, He patiently endured whatever the Sanhedrin and the Romans threw at Him. "Into Your hands I commit My Spirit."

But what about planning? Noah certainly followed plans and worked that they come about. When Paul got himself into trouble (repeatedly) for preaching Jesus, his Christian brothers came up with plots either to sneak Paul to safety or to go to the authorities and rat out the assassins. When Paul knew he was going up to Jerusalem (possibly to his death) he met with the Ephesian pastors and gave them farewell instructions about tending the flock. None of these plans were worrying.

But SO many of my plans are indeed worrying. Why? What's good planning and what's worrisome planning?

And here's what I think. It's all about faith and contentment. We plan what we plan not for our own protection, not for our own comfort, but for the sake of the neighbor. We plan so that we might do good to those around us. Faithful planning also believes (I mean, really believes, not just a verbal assent to a theological concept) that God may have different plans, and that "what God ordains is always good" -- even when my plans are frustrated. If I plan to save money and it all disappears in bad economic times, what God ordains is always good. If I plan to take care of my health and it fails, what God ordains is always good. If I plan to tend a garden and God sees fit to allow fungus on my tomatoes, somehow He is working good for my soul and my trust in Him.

Our plans turn to worry when we think we have some control. Our plans turn to worry when we are more concerned with temporal blessings than with eternal realities. Our plans turn to worry when our priority is my comfort instead of my brother's needs.

So, "Stop Worrying!" right? Nope. Trying to stop worrying never stopped anybody from worrying. Worry fades away when our eyes are fixed on Jesus and His mercy, knowing that He will care for my soul and that nothing can harm me and draw me from His love, and also that He uses my planning to care for my neighbor's soul/life, in His own way, in His own time.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. In his sermon yesterday, my pastor pointed out that we have no say over when we come into this world and no proper say about when we leave it. Why, then, do we think that we will have any control of what happens between those two? "I believe that God has made me and all creatures, that he has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears and all my members, my reason and all my sense, and still takes care of them." And STILL takes care of them. Not just in the beginning, not just at the end, but at all times in between. It is His job to take care of them, not ours. And He does it. He does it. Wow.