Free Air of Faith

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us away from our desperate drive for security into a confident dependence on God:
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?. . . Do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

We do not have to live with suffocating anxiety; we can breathe the free air of faith.

Jesus urged to look again at nature and marvel at how good God's world is: Consider the birds of the air. They are not worth nearly as much as you, but God cares for them. And they do not stockpile food or sweat where their next meal is coming from. They are free. Consider the lilies of the field (lilies were like wildflowers). They are here today and gone tomorrow and they never spend a minute fretting about fit and fashion, but they are glorious in color and beauty. Consider your own experience: can worrying make you taller or add a minute to your life? Look at the world: it will teach you to live free in the free grace of God.

And, Jesus called us to pay attention to here and now and to God: “Strive first for the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and all the things you need will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Here, now, and God—God first. .

Focusing on the wonders of the world and the goodness of God loosens anxiety’s grip on us, and are free to do what is at hand to do—to do the next right thing and to take the next step in our journey. We live as faithfully as we can in the present moment. We love the people who cross our paths, do the work we have agreed to do, enjoy the grace that comes to us day by day and leave the rest to God. We find delight in small and modest things, just as Jesus found signs of God’s tender care in blooming wildflowers and flying birds. We give thanks for small but significant things: daily bread, a roof over our heads, a baby’s smile, an elder’s example, stories that tell us who we are, the love of our families, the devotion of friends, a good night’s sleep, music to tune our hearts, candles in the window, the fragrance of flowers, and the sound of the ocean rushing to the shore. Most of all, we give thanks for the goodness of God, who creates and sustains our lives and everything we enjoy.