There has been so much talk about death of late. Whether it be the discussions on possible nuclear war with North Korea, the suicides of LGBT individuals, or the tragic end of a family or friend due to natural causes or freak accidents. It seems that we as humans just cannot get away from worry and death.
And yet we try. We spend millions of dollars a year on a new medication that will help prolong our lives. People sell us creams and rubs that promise to melt the years from our appearance. We even starve ourselves or try yet another fad diet to try to squeeze out one more day or one more week out of our lives.
Jesus talked about this obsession in Holy Scriptures.
Because of this I say to you, you shall not take pains for yourselves with what you will eat, or what you will drink, neither for your body, what you will put on; behold, is not the soul greater than food, and the body than clothing?
Behold the birds of the sky, that they neither sow nor reap, neither do they gather into barns, and your Father who is in Heaven sustains them; behold, are you not better than they? But who of you, while taking pains, is able to add a foot and a half to his stature? And why are you taking pains about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow without laboring or weaving. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field that is today and will fall into the oven tomorrow, does he not multiply more to you, Oh small of faith? Therefore do not be concerned or say, ”What will we eat?’, or ”What will we drink?’, or, ”What will we wear’? For the Gentiles are seeking all these things, but your Father who is in Heaven knows that all these things are necessary for you.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore you shall not be concerned about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be concerned for itself. A day’s own trouble is sufficient for it. (Matthew 6:25-34. Aramaic Plain English Version)
Jesus reminds us that birds of the air do not worry about all these things. And yet, they are taken care of. If God takes care of them and the grass of the fields, how much more will he take care of us! All we have to do is trust in His province.
A friend of mine told me the story once about how zebras do not get ulcers. Yes, they may be hunted by other animals and humans, but they do not worry about it. They react when they need to so that they can escape danger, but once that danger has passed, they move on with their lives.
As Jesus said, we cannot add a single inch to our stature, a single day to our lives by worrying about life. And according to science, by worrying we only hasten our own end. Such things lead to heart disease and other stress related ailments.
So I ask you today to join me in being like the zebra. Let us deal with situations as they arise and then move on when they pass. Let us not dwell on those who left us, hurt us, mistreated us, or even attacked us. Rather let us pick up and move forward.
By doing so, we live the Gospel message and may actually extend our lives!