Daily Reflection
June 18th, 2005

Cathy Weiss Pedersen

Campus Ministry
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 34:8-9, 10-11, 12-13
Matthew 6:24-34

“That is why I tell you not to worry about your livelihood…
God knows everything you need...”

Ironically, as I reflect on today’s scriptures, I am attempting to juggle a multitude of ‘to do’s on my task list as I prepare to travel to my youngest daughter’s graduation from college. The meetings, reports and appointments overwhelm my calendar. Arrangements for our cat, mail and the paper need attention. Last minute plans need to be confirmed with people at our destination.

The ‘to do’ list is very real. But this frenzy of planning and accomplishing is a far cry from what today’s reading are prompting me to consider.
In St. Paul’s reading, he tells the people of Corinth that in his weakness, he is aware of Christ’s power dwelling in him. He remembers God’s words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul is aware of the temptation to boast of his visions of Christ and escapes from imprisonment…to take credit for these blessings. However, in boasting about such events, it would be as if he, Paul, was calling attention to himself, rather than the God whom he was sent to preach.

The psalmist calls us to the importance to, ‘taste and see how good our God is’…to take time to reverence our God. Taking (making) time to be in God’s presence and then…’to practice good, seek peace and pursue it’ is God’s desire for us.

In Matthew’s gospel, we are reminded to, ‘not to worry about your livelihood, what we are to eat or drink or use for clothing…God knows everything you need. Seek first God’s reign, and God’s justice, and all these things will be given to you besides.’

My gut reaction is, ‘uh-huh, but…’. Perhaps I do have a lot of ‘to do’s on my list that aren’t quite necessary or absolutely have to be accomplished now. But, there are certain tasks and duties that do need to be completed as a responsible campus minister, mother and friend. I know that what really is important is to trust that God will provide that I can finish these things in a reasonable fashion. However, the “I can do it” mentality is very strong…if I just push a little longer and harder, I can check off all those list things, and finally relax.

I think that perhaps today’s readings are suggesting a slightly different approach. Where have I invited God into this frenzy? I am excited with and for my daughter as she prepares to celebrate her hard work and accomplishments. I’m looking forward to our trip to be together with family and friends. However, if I continue all of this with a ‘have to finish this, get that done, don’t forget about..’ mentality, I may be too exhausted and hassled to truly enjoy what the weekend promises.
On the other hand if I invite God into some quiet space which I will have to intentionally create (it’s not on my list)….perhaps things will take on a proper perspective. What is really important to celebrate the gifts and blessings of my daughter and my family? Yes, responsibilities are present, but instead of approaching them with gritted teeth, to ‘get them done’, I might be able to ‘be in the moment’ and do the best that I can, then let go, and relax and enjoy the weekend.

Possibly, that is what is meant in Matthew’s words, “That is why I tell you not to worry about your livelihood…God knows everything you need..”

My prayer as I enter into the rest of this week and my summer is to learn to step back, wait and listen for the God-spirit within, so that perhaps what others might see and experience is truly the God presence of peace rather than my need to make things perfect on my own. 

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