My sermon this morning (a little off lectionary because I was away last week) was about rejecting attempting to reject the pressures of society that tell us to have more, more, more in favor of seeing that we have enough. As that Wise Man put it, look at the birds and the flowers. They make it; they are beautiful. And if God cares about them and provides for them, what do we have to worry about? You can hear the sermon, Enough for Today (also entitled My iPhone, let me show you it) at my sermon archive.
Of course the truth is that we do worry about a great many things. Every time I pass a gas station I wonder how I’m going to afford the next $40 tank of gas, let alone the single parents in my congregation and the families in town whose kids get out of school (and away from those free lunches) in a couple weeks’ time. And we do stockpile lots of stuff we don’t need, from fancy clothes and big houses to my personal weaknesses, books, electronic gadgets and more books.
Does this worry make us more efficient? More prepared? Does the stuff make us happier? More secure? Better informed and able to communicate? In my sermon, I referenced Colin Beaven, No Impact Man, who discussed in a few recent posts the cravings for more weighed against the joys of focusing on importnat stuff like family and friends and finding deep meaning in life. I challenged my congregation to fast from something for a day or so this week– not as penance or cleansing or even to make the world a better place, but as a tool to reflect on what makes us happy. Are we happier without checking our email every five minutes? Without worrying about the price of gas? Without pumping caffeine in our bodies? (I don’t know about you, but I’m chronically guilty of all three of those!)
I never issue a challenge to my congregation without being willing to answer it myself, so this week, I’m going to cut back on something– I’m not entirely sure yet which something it will be. I’m headed out of town for Annual Conference, so there’s a lot of work to be done up front– calls to make, online research to do, bulletins to print, long hours to burn– that makes it hard to swear off the internet or the iPhone or filling the gas tank or the coffee cup.
What about you? From what would you fast for a day or two? A practice? An item? A worry?
And speaking of worry, my husband is having a minor operation tomorrow afternoon, so I’m sure I’ll burn several hours considering the strengths and weaknesses of modern medicine rather than the clothing of the lilies of the field. Prayers of strength and courage will be appreciated! But that’s tomorrow, and for the next thirty five minutes at least, today’s troubles are enough for today.