Saturday (June 23): "Why are you anxious?"

Meditation: What does “serving two masters” and “anxiety” have in common?  They both have the same root problem -- being divided within oneself.  The root word for “anxiety” literally means “being of two minds”.  An anxious person is often “tossed to and fro” and paralyzed by indecision. Fear of some bad outcome usually cripples those afflicted with anxiety.  It’s also the case with someone who wants to submit to God but also live according to the world’s standards of success and fulfillment.  Who is the master in charge of your life?  Our “master” is that which governs our thought-life, shapes our ideals, controls the desires of the heart and the values we choose to live by.  We can be ruled by many different things -- the love of money or possessions, the power of position, the glamor of wealth and prestige, the driving force of unruly passions and addictions. Ultimately the choice boils down to two: God and “mammon”.  What is mammon?  “Mammon” stands for “material wealth or possessions” or whatever tends to “control our appetites and desires”.  There is one Master alone who has the power to set us free from the slavery of sin and fear.  That Master is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus uses an illustration from nature — the birds and the flowers — to show how God provides for them in the natural order of his creation. How much more can we, as his children, rely upon God’s providential care? God is utterly reliable.  In the Lord's Prayer we are reminded that God is our provider when we pray: Give us this day our daily bread.  What is bread, but the very staple of life and symbol of all that we need to live and grow.  Anxiety is neither helpful nor necessary. It robs us of faith and confidence in God’s help and it saps our energy for doing good. Jesus admonishes his followers to put away anxiety and preoccupation with material things and instead to seek first the things of God — his kingdom and righteousness.  Anxiety robs the heart of trust in the mercy and goodness of God and in his loving care for us.  God knows our needs even before we ask and he gives generously to those who trust in him.  Who is your master -- God or mammon? 

“Lord, free me from needless worries and help me to put my trust in you.  Make my first concern your kingdom and your righteousness.  Help me to live each day with trust and gratitude for your providential care for me”.


This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/