Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:27-31
Our desire for money and possessions can be strong. As we have explored this week, money claims to offer us security, freedom, and recognition. The only problem is money and possessions alone cannot guarantee these things. Money cannot guarantee you won’t get cancer. Money cannot prevent relationships from breaking. In fact the pursuit of it often hurts relationships.
Our deep desire for security, freedom, and value are not bad desires in and of themselves. So we must ask, is there a way to guarantee the freedoms we long for? Yes, but as with many things in the Kingdom of God, we must follow a path less traveled to attain our desires. In order to see this path I want to take you on a contemplative journey.
Find a moment where you can focus your mind. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now I want you to imagine some of your great fears in life. It could be that you lose your job or that your spouse leaves you. Now begin to stack your fears upon each other. For me it looks something like this; I imagine that I make a terrible decision that disqualifies me from ministry and I lose the respect of my faith community. I then imagine that my wife and kids come to despise me because of this choice. I then imagine that I cannot acquire work because of my foolishness and therefore lose all my possessions and end up on the street.This may sound like a morbid practice but every time I encounter deep fear in my life this practice has helped me.
Now, imagine that as a result of all these tragedies your heart becomes so open to God that you begin to sense his love and acceptance more than ever. Imagine that your broken life leads you to an open heart towards God and that you begin to hear him speak to you. Now I ask you, who can take that away from you? If you die you get to be with the God who loves you in spite of your failings. You are now free to be yourself completely knowing that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
This entire practice can be summarized by the words of Jim Elliot who died at the hands of a violent tribe while trying to share the love of Jesus with them. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This is a life rich towards god. It is an untouchable soul a life that can face the greatest tragedies without being crushed. This is the kind of life I long for. Now every earthly blessing becomes a cherry on top of an already deeply satisfied soul.
By Aaron Bjorklund