As I read the bible passage and your note Will my first thoughts are of the simple phrase that I have heard on and off over the years – ‘let go and let God’.
For me that phrase is another way of conveying the message in the passage of ‘For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.’ We can worry about a lot of things, or want something we don’t have – does worrying over it help? No. Lifting up the need to God in prayer and remembering that God knows our needs is an issue of faith. Putting worry aside isn’t that easy, if it were, none of us would be anxious about a thing in life! Right!!
I do think that there has to be a balance in life, and priority. It is easy to assume ‘let go and let God’ should be interpreted as a call to forego ‘agency’ or ‘action’ in your life, for ‘complacency’ or ‘inaction’ because ‘God will take care of it’. Another interpretation, and my own approach to that balance and priority is to put God first and ‘let God’ lead you, which allows you to ‘let go’ and move forward in faith.
Verse 34, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” speaks to me about living for today, and the present circumstances and dealing with issues as they arise. Again, do I just confine my thoughts to living today, and not worrying about my future? No. I read this passage as a call to not let worry consume my life. If I did, I would probably be stuck in inaction….waiting for the worry to be over…….. Again, faith is needed.
In the church I don’t think that we can approach the growth of the church community simply worrying about the finances, and forgetting about the spiritual health and wealth of our congregation members. I think that if we look after the spiritual ‘wealth’ of our congregation so that they can engage in the work that we are called to do as a congregation then opportunities to tend to and provide for the financial health and wealth of the congregation will emerge. Again, faith is needed.
The ‘consider the lilies of the fields’ passage isn’t calming at all or simply a matter of sitting back to ‘smell the roses’. Where do ‘action’ and ‘faith in God’ start and end……or intersect….or are they on a continuum?