Birds and Flowers and Faith ~ Br. Chip Noon, Novice

birdsinthesky

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” This is from today’s Gospel.

The last several weeks have been a particular trial for me…physically and emotionally. It has seemed like there is no anchorage. I felt helplessly adrift, even having fleeting thoughts of calling my mother for advice…my mother who has been gone these last six years.

I, who usually know exactly what I’m doing and what I will do, I who have been asked innumerable times during my life, “So what is your advice here, Chip?”

Adrift and alone in an endless ocean with no lighthouses, harbor buoys, or navigation by the stars.

And then, in preparation for this homily, I turn to the USCCB site for the readings for February 26th and what do I find? “I will never forget you,” says the Lord.

He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold.”

Therefore do not make any judgment before the appointed time…”

The word of God is living and effective;
discerning reflections and thoughts of the heart.”

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

And as has happened so many times before, a mantel of serenity descended upon me and left me comforted.

Every single one of today’s readings has the same message: I am loved and all I need do is trust in God.

Then why do we kick against the traces? How is it we are lured down the path of worry and anxiety? What does being ill at ease gain us?

Well, in my case, if I examine the past few weeks, I think, and erroneously, that that path will lead me to something or someone who will say, “It’s OK, Chip.” I suppose when times get tough, we may get going but we also look for comfort from external sources: spouses, parents, friends, strong leaders. We can’t help it…we’re human, after all. I remember reading several biographies of General George S. Patton from World War II. He was tough, competent, aggressive, and yet he constantly had to tell himself, “Do not take counsel of your fears.” We are all children at our core.

But that’s a biological truth. We are all children. Even to our dying day. We are all seeking comfort, peace, protection. So if that’s the case, that we are all like this, then it must be a gift…or a curse…from God. A curse if we don’t pay attention to what God tells us time and time again: “Quit worrying…I’ve got your back.”

But a gift if we do pay attention, if we adopt a daily exercise of admitting our childhood state, then it’s a part of that exercise to ask God for help. “I’m your child. I need your help.”

There, how hard is that? “I’m your child. I need your help.”

Oh…there’s one other part of the exercise…we have to wait for God’s help with all trust and anticipation. Because as he tells us, “…for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Lord, make us like little children who want to be held. Help us to turn our will over to you who provide all things for all of us. And Lord, help us to seek first your kingdom and find it everywhere we are.

Amen.

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