When my daughter was around 4-years old, I got her a pair of light-up shoes. They were brown leather Mary-Janes with Velcro straps and pink stitching. Hidden lights embedded in the rubbed soles would flash each time her foot made contact with the floor. She loved them but, over time, I noticed that she never wore them.
One day, I asked her, “Why aren’t you wearing your new shoes?” as I pointed to the shoes on the floor of her closet.
“I don’t want to run down the battery,” she answered.
I told her, “Oh, honey, I don’t think you have to worry about that.”
But my words didn’t seem to make a difference. She still wouldn’t put them on. I was too busy running after her twin sister and baby brother to remind her to wear them so the inevitable happened—she outgrew the shoes.
I’m fairly certain that Jesus never had to teach about the perils of buying light-up shoes for slightly OCD 4-year olds, but he did preach this:
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.” (NLT)
Though I’m trying to do better, I confess that I am a frequent worrier. You could probably even call me a Worrier Warrior. When Jesus goes on to say: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’” I am convicted of my weakness in this area but I’m also a bit defensive.
I want to ask Jesus, “If I don’t worry about it, then who will?” When my husband and I divide up the duties for our family, it falls to me to be sure we have food to eat and clean clothes to wear. It’s my job to take care of this, right?
To back up my defense, I scan my memory for an instance when Jesus seemed worried or stressed-out. Others around Him might have lost their cool, but He seemed to stay focused on His mission and on the present moment.
When He was in the garden just hours before His arrest and eventual crucifixion, Jesus had plenty of reasons to be stressed out. Instead, He took His concerns to His Father. He asked if it was possible to prevent the imminent suffering and death but was willing to follow His Father’s Master Plan, regardless. Then came the betrayer and the crowds and the soldiers. Jesus calmly followed.
So here’s my new plan: Take it to the Garden. Lay it out. Pray it out. Ask, seek, knock. Then calmly follow God’s Will.
I won’t always follow my own advice—in fact I know I’ll frequently forget the plan—but I’ll attempt to have faith that all of the pieces will fall into place. I’ll try to heed Jesus’ advice: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Because it’s possible that all of that worrying will make me miss out on something fantastic, like the coolest light-up shoes ever.