A meditation on:
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:10)
Too often my eyes strain down the path of life. I crane my neck to see what I can see, to figure it all out, to make a plan, to be ahead of the game, to dictate the game. I'm so busy making "plans" for the future that I forget the now. But no longer.
Here I sit in the early morning; the hurricane-rains sheeting down over the Pin Oaks. Beyond, I can see the trees dodging, dancing in the fun-sway of the torrent. But my trees stand still, in the rain.
One, by one, by one, the tree in my front yard dodge and dip, and finally, the full sway of the wind comes upon the porch.
The wind moves through the trees. The trees stand, and wait to be dipped and danced. I learn from the solemn standing trees. The abiding life looks like the trees waiting for the wind, content to stand, waiting.
It is now. The morning. I am in it. I listen to the rain. I watch and listen to the wind. I am in a moment, then into the next. And what is it saying? What am I asking? What I am doing?
I am not thinking of the moments far ahead, already in the wind. I am not thinking about the deadlines, the need for provision, the need for, the need for, the need for. In this moment, on the porch, I am worshipping the God who pushes the weather into view. I am listening, right now, for the immediate voice of God. And he is speaking.
Am I listening?
"... be anxious for nothing." (Phil. 4:6)
"... an anxious heart weighs a man down." (Ps. 23:4)
"... let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Col. 3:15)
"... now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way." (1 Thes. 3:16)
"... keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have." (Heb. 13:5)
My intentions for tomorrow and the months ahead deserve some thought, but not all of it. I am responsible to sketch them out, to pray over them, and then to give them to God. I am not responsible for their success. He is. I am responsible for obedience.
Obedience demands the now. And what am I to obey? To live content with what I have. To love the ones I connect with daily. To do good as is the overflow of my heart.
Do not ransom your "now" for the anxiety of tomorrow. Instead, stand with the trees and abide.
LONGNING FOR MORE: A DAILY DEVOTIONAL RESOURCE
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Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.