Then he said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he do for you—you of little faith? Don’t strive for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
“But seek his kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom."
--Luke 12.22-32 CSB
We live in a world of anxiety and fear. We are anxious about relationships. We are fearful about finances. We feel powerless about politics. We are afraid of the unknown...and the future is certainly unknown.
Understanding our anxiety, many are ready to cash in on it with promises of stability, protection, and hope. From investment companies to insurers to politicians, these and many others are quick to promise us a certain future if we will but trust and rely upon them and their services.
I have a question. How's that working out?
If statistics tells us anything--and I'm aware that stats can tell us just about anything and everything depending on how they're presented--I would suggest that all these promises of hope, stability, and certainty aren't worth a hill of beans. Perhaps the best chance we have for an anxiety-free life come at the hands of drug companies, whose wares like Xanax, Lexapro, and Cymbalta are selling like never before. Apparently, the hope for a certain future lies not in any future certainty but in a present-day pill we can pop to soothe our troubles souls.
Nonsense. It doesn't have to be this way.
While there are definitely times and places for prescription meds and diagnoses of anxiety disorders--re-read that before you trot off and suggest I'm anti-medicine--our society's woes cannot principally or permanently be solved through these means any more than they can through a Huxley-inspired 'soma-holiday.'
At its core, anxiety is fear about an uncertain future state over which we feel powerless. Honestly, much of the future is out of our control; however, the future is entirely under the control of our loving and compassionate God...which is the entire point of Jesus' words in today's Gospel reading. Granted, we have very little control of the future, the one who does loves us, cares for us, and seeks our good, even if it comes through times of trial.
Therefore, we need not worry. Instead of sweating our lack of ability to 'fix' the future, let us trust in the one who both can and does.