November 19, 2017
The Price of Worry
It doesn’t take long before the effects of worry or stress are realized in the rhythm of daily life. The effects are often physical and personal, perhaps resulting in a lack of sleep or disruption in eating patterns. But worry can also be sensed collectively, for example, in a social group, community organization, or congregation. Worry can creep in when congregational giving is significantly behind budget. When a change in leadership results in members leaving. When things seem to be going all right but the youth aren’t really showing up to church anymore. Changes like these are opportunities for God to use the gifts God gives us, but worrying can skew our attention. We may fixate on our vulnerabilities and what is missing instead of seeing the potential for God’s provision.
Jesus tells a story about a property owner who goes away for a while, leaving the servants in charge. The first two servants have no time to worry about what to do with the money left to them. Perhaps they see the master’s departure as an opportunity for their personal career advancement and are motivated to invest the money. Or maybe they are bold enough to make a decision because they know the master trusts them and they want to live in that trust. Whatever the motive, the servants are rewarded by being able to share in the master’s joy. If they had let worry get the best of them, it would have been far more difficult to enter into that joy.
When worry gets in the way of experiencing the joy God desires for us, we would do well to turn our attention to practices that allow us to enter into that joy. Weekly worship with our faith community. Regular participation in holy communion. Prayer. Scripture study. Mutual conversation and listening. God has given us everything we need to live in trust.
From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2017 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.