Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daily Office Reflection: Self-absorption

Psalms (70), 71 * 74: Leviticus 19:26-37; 2Thessalonians 1:1-12; Matthew 6:25-34

My friend Pat (not this person's real name) is a worrier. He worries about everything. Is it going to rain? Is it going to be too cold? Too hot? Will he be early? Late? Does so and so like him? Will the store be out of the ingredient needed for this cake he is making? Will he screw up making the cake and will he have to start over or buy one from the store for the party he is going to? If so, is that cake going to be any good?

Well, anyway, you get the picture....this worrying (and negativity) is self-propagating....each thought leading inexorably to the next worry. It is a state of being for Pat. We probably all know at least one person who has a penchant for this kind of drama....perhaps we participate in it ourselves too....Do these pants (shirt, sweater, skirt, blouse) make me look fat?

There is a self-absorption involved in this kind worry. A self-absorption that takes us out of the present, out of the world we live in, allows us to more easily ignore the world in which we live. Perhaps this is one of the things Jesus is talking about today when he tells us not to worry about clothes, or food, or drink. To not "worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."

Jesus is instructing us to stay focused on creating the kingdom of God around us, here, now. To do our best to stay in the present and to trust God that we will be provided for....Not sit back and wait for God to provide, but to do the work we need to do, without follow where we know, deep in ourselves, that God is leading us. To reach out to the other, the stranger and not only assist them but to see Christ's face in their face, and to see Him in ourselves too.

First striving for the kingdom and placing tomorrow's worries for tomorrow calls for a great effort on our part to put aside self-absorption, self-concern, self-doubt and to the one who created us, just as we are, and who loves us....even when we worry about whether these pants make us look fat.

Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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