February 26, 2017 - Awake

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?'
or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil."

Matthew 6:24-34

It is a shame that this passage is so often interpreted to mean that God will magically provide for our physical needs and intervene in practical, measurable ways if only we act and believe correctly.

What is truly remarkable about this passage is it similarities to Buddhism. 

Buddhism, like Jesus in this passage, promises to relieve suffering not with intervention, but simply with the recognition that by worrying, catastrophizing, and regretting how things were or could have been, we increase suffering and its hold over us. 

Buddhism, like Jesus in this passage, notes that the past no longer exists and the future does not yet exist – all that is real is occurring on the knife’s edge of this moment.  That affirmation is more than a philosophical riddle like the sound of one hand clapping – it is a realization that can allow us to release regret about the past and anxiety about the future and live in complete awareness in the moment, being fully awake to all of its beauty and miraculousness.

Image courtesy http://pdpics.com