Praying for Time

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 “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?  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?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  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?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:25 – 33)

The God of Eternity wants to help us handle time. In my mind, these passages are a ‘matched set’: Paul “forgetting what is past” and Jesus saying, “do not worry” about the future.  We can leave behind our errors, screw-ups and neglected priorities… because Jesus forgives all of our sins. We can be unpreoccupied with all the bad things that might happen to us… because Jesus has secured our destiny.  What do these passages have in common?  Both of them tell us that we can control our minds — we can, and should, decide not to dwell or fret.  And here is the ultimate ‘why’: because “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” is our full time occupation, and then some.  Dwelling and fretting are so bad because they steal precious seconds, minutes, hours, days and years from following Jesus’ goal and process for me.  Jesus’ word to me is “seek.”

Lord, the calendar is arbitrary, but you are rooted in time and eternity.  Thank you for helping me rehabilitate both my past and my future so I can focus on you in this precious day and moment.  Amen.

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