Men Building Bridges #13
‘Can anyone live a little bit longer by worrying about it?’
The answer to that question is mentioned in odd places. Each time the answer is: ‘take no thought‘. In other words, stop worrying. It is very telling what we are instructed to take thought about:
‘Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.’
Many times, I’ve wondered and worried about quite a few things: job, finances, transportation, housing, food, expenses – you name it, I’ve worried about it. This was impressed most on me when, a long time ago, I literally lost everything. I had put my security & self-worth into the accumulation of things, titles, position & prestige. I had become so consumed by worry and security that I misplaced my efforts and thoughts into temporary things – rejecting, pushing away and replacing those I loved with things as temporary and changeable as status, money, portfolios, business projections, certifications, accreditations, stock options, prestige, position. To my shame and failure, I chose all of that over friendship and more – everything that started out meaning so much to me. It was a worthless trade and a terrible price was extracted.
I wouldn’t recommend my particular path to anyone. However, life has a way of getting our attention. Life not only gives, but takes away: the house, the cars, the library of books, the gadgets, the toys, the business, everything that was in the way. A funny thing happened: I felt free. I was more liberated than I had ever been before. Did I mourn the loss of my friends, and more? Yes. Did I mourn everything else? For awhile. Then I realized, that the status, jobs, stock options, investments and possessions would never return all the love, loyalty, and trust I had placed in them. I was free.
The past decade has brought many good changes in my life. Whatever I have in my life now, is not mine, none of it. All of it, every bit of it, is a gift – a gift of life, meant to be shared, not hoarded. Over the last decade, including this past week even, the unexpected has been gifted upon me.
We are to be good stewards of what we have been provided with, or it just may be taken and given it to someone who can be trusted to share with others – and I don’t believe this is just referencing things. All of this is never an excuse is to avoid fiscal or prudent discipline as stewards of whatever life has provided. The point is: We have way more than enough – especially when we keep our priorities straight. We are to seek life, just as life seeks after us. (What we seek, seeks us – Rumi)
Do the right thing. Don’t worry about what you don’t have, in amazing, humbling ways, it’s not ours, it’s other’s. Provision is a tricky thing. However, in giving away, I’ve found my cup replenished. It’s funny. We get what we need, often, and not what we want, when we need it, are are least expecting, nor even looking for it. The point is: Trust this: If we have something, we have it for a reason. If we don’t have something, we don’t have it for a reason. That’s not to say it won’t be provided, but if it isn’t, the universe may have other plans after all. What are you worrying about? Are you worried about your position, your pride, a job, your current job, cost center turf battles at work, cheap shots by co-workers, neighbors, people you trust? Are you worried about what you will say in an interview, in a presentation, if someone asks you a question? Do you trust in the goodness and beauty of sharing? Provision will be made, it just may not be what you expect. However, it will always be what you need, for whatever reason. It’s up to us to find meaning and purpose. We will do this. It’s what we do.
Take no thought for your life, what you will eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you will put on. Isn’t life more than meat, and the body than clothing?
‘Take no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil therein.’
‘take no thought of how or what to say: it will be given to you in that same hour what you will say, when you need it. It will be given in spirit and truth.’
‘Repay no one evil for evil’