Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Cool Design

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?   --Matthew 6:26-27 (NIV)
The late Thomas Merton talks in The Seeds of Contemplation about how God only needs for us to be ourselves.  He says that God places within every created thing the true essence of what each thing is, and He is given greatest praise and glory by giving back just what we are.  He gives the example of a tree.  A tree is most real, and gives praise to God by being the beautiful tree it was created to be.

Now, humans have this troublesome issue in being what we're created to be.  We tend to over think what and who we are.  Which of us, at some point(s) in our lives, has not asked, "Who am I?"  There are many books and therapists available to help us "find ourselves."  Many others are quick to tell us how "to be all we can be."  Religion goes out of its way to tell us we have a sinful basic nature and we have to work hard to be good enough.  Yet, we are created in the image of God?  Does not God derive pleasure simply by watching us at play, being the person He made us to be?  Is it not being sacred to live to the simplest, yet fullest, essence of what God made us to be?

The gospel writer asks the same question in a way -- can any one of you add an hour to your life by worrying?  Do you not know that God has hold of you?  God, I think, had a pretty simple design in mind when he made us.  Perhaps theologians and control freaks have perverted the simplicity, such that we have fallen into the habit of worrying (and conniving and manipulating) when we can't make our lives work as gloriously as we think they should.  Perhaps the nearest help we have available to us is remembering the divine image with which we were created -- and that God Himself declared it is very good!

Marvelous Designer, maker of the universe, grant us an appreciation for the simplicity you used to make us.  Help us to see our lives as built of the dust of stars and divine genius.  Lift our heads and lighten our hearts, helping us to accept the playfulness that You intend for our lives.  In Christ's name, Amen.


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