We’ve all heard “Do as I say, not as I do.” I’m about to share advice that I find personally difficult to follow. The advice, carefully written on a handmade bookmark, a Sunday School project by a young boy named Jade, is…Do not worry about your life. Matthew 6:25.
I sure worried when I stepped into my closet the other day and felt moisture, lots of moisture, underneath my foot. A couple of impure words popped into my consciousness, and visions of dollar signs danced in my head. I sure worried when I listened to the news last night about the sinking value of the dollar and my weakening retirement funds. And I really worry when my knee sends messages of pain and “you’re heading for a knee replacement” reminders to my brain. And world peace? Is there such a thing?
I have Jade’s bookmark on my refrigerator so I can see and repeat its message each time I pass by. Today’s worry is about the rapid decline of a magnificent shade tree in front of our new house. More dollar signs do a Hungarian Polka in my faithless cranium.
Perhaps I needed to follow the advice on the bookmark so carefully crafted by a young boy. Not particularly literate in Scripture, I looked up Matthew 6:25. Ah yes, this is the passage about the birds who don’t plant or harvest because the Father feeds them. Worrier that I am, my first thought was, “OK. How about the dead birds frozen by winter’s harsh snow that covers the seed? Huh? If they worried a little, maybe they would have put aside some seed before the snows arrived.”
Oh, wait. Beyond this passage there are these words—“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.”And in verses 19 and 32 are these gems of mentally healthy living. Verse 19: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven.” Hmmmm. Does that verse refer to my 401K? Verse 32:”…Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day…” Hmmmm. Caught again in trying to know, better than God, what my needs are.
I still worry and always will, but Jade’s writing on the handmade bookmark slows down the panic and helps me rehearse advice that I need. Hmmmm. Maybe my heavenly Father did provide for me…through Jade.