I recently started attending a program at my university called Cultural Ambassadors. I felt called to join this group for a few years and recently I went through the process to apply and this year I was accepted.
To provide some context, Cultural Ambassadors is a leadership program that encourages growth, relationship and cultural awareness.
This weekend we had our first meeting and I was blown away by how much knowledge was poured over me. There were so many things that we talked about that I hadn’t considered or thought about before. I am sure these meetings will serve as an inspiration for many of my faith blog posts in the future. I don’t feel knowledgable enough to begin talking about the cultural awareness aspect quite yet, but I do feel like I have processed a faith aspect that I believe every one should consider.
Wait, wait! I know you have probably heard this topic of conversation a million times before, but stick with me because I think there’s something new here.
During our meeting we walked through all of the pain and separation our world is facing and has faced since the beginning of time. It was maddening to dive so deeply into sin in this way. How can the world have become so dark and sad? Why have we separated ourselves from one another?
One of our leaders, a university professor, had us consider what the original sin was. She theorized that the original sin, and the root of most every sin, is a lack of trust in God.
We are constantly trying to work ahead of God in order to provide for ourselves even when He has told us that he will take care of us. The original sin in the garden with Adam and Eve, came from Adam and Eve not trusting that God would provide for them in the best way possible. They thought that they needed the knowledge and power of God in order to take care of themselves, instead.
How often do we see this type of behavior reflected in our own actions? I see this in myself every single day. I worry about getting things done on time, I worry about making enough money, I worry about not being able to measure up. I think this relates to my post about anxiety as well. We are all SO worried every single day because we are not resting in the fact that God said that He will take care of us.
We also separate ourselves from one another as we try to protect and provide for ourselves. We create this “other” category, which we place specific people in, to keep ourselves, our families, our ethnic group, our country, safe.
In Matthew 6:26-34 it is said,
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? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This story gives me so much hope and peace. It reminds me that I don’t have to do everything on my own. I don’t even have to tell God all of the things I need because he already knows. It also reminds me that anxiety and worry are not new and God has provided us with the handbook for dealing with them. I do not have to spend my days worrying or working as hard as I can to create the life I think I need. I do not need to separate myself from others in order to protect my way of life.
Let me be plain though, this is not a cop out to be lazy or to not put complete effort into the things that you do; but rather this is a message of peace. You don’t have to worry about the “success” of what you do because our version of success may be different than God’s.
Instead of worrying, I can trust in the path that I am headed down because I know that I am well taken care of. Regardless of my job, my income, my clothing, where I live, I am taken care of; you are too.
So the next time you are worrying about how you will take care of yourself, remember that you don’t have to. Lean in to the care that has been provided for you from day one. Trust in God.