This past week Alex talked about the anxiety we feel when we’re not sure our future needs will be met. This can show up in a couple of different ways. We can be fearful about the bad outcomes we’ll face if we don’t have enough. Or, we can artificially create needs when what we want is excessive. The word for ‘anxiety’ in Greek is merimnao, which can best be translated as “being divided”. Our hopes and fears divide our minds and make us unstable.
In Matthew 6:33 (The Message) Jesus asks us to focus on the present, telling us we can live a meaningful life and have a peaceful and undivided mind:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Jesus points us in a direction most people would not have thought of. He tells us to take time to observe and to rest. Seeking his kingdom involves, he says, taking time to notice some of the most common and beautiful creations—birds and flowers.
Taking the time to contemplate the everyday miracles in creation can interrupt cycles of worry. Stepping back from a sense of urgency gives perspective. We can plant a seed and water it, but only God can transform such a small hard object into a plant. Opening our eyes to the world God has created, our bodies and minds can relax. We can see more solutions to problems. Observing and meditating can make us more at peace with who we’ve been created to be and the situations in which we find ourselves.
Have there been times when you’ve immersed yourself in God’s work in nature? Were you listening to music, taking a hike, seeing birds find berries and seeds?
A goldfinch feeding on a flower
Remember what has spoken to you in the past and make a point of engaging in that experience again this week. Or try something completely new!