Pick up a newspaper in the first few weeks of a new year and you are bombarded with predictions like ……
· Rudd will win election
· Stock Market will rise
· Sydney Property Prices will rise in 2010
· 2010 will be the hottest and driest year ever
· Brad and Angelina Jolie will separate
· Obama’s popularity will drop
· Meryl Streep will win an Oscar
· Reserve Bank will increase interest rates.
The list goes on and on and in a sense the endless speculation at times leaves me a little perplexed. But guess what? We don’t know what is going to happen. In fact unpredictable things happen all the time. The experts as often as not are as far from understanding the future as those of us who really haven’t got a clue. Sometimes humble uncertainty is a lot more reliable than any amount of informed speculation.
Could it be that our endless speculation is actually a subtle disguise for worry? What worry does is to speculate on the future. It nags at us saying, “What if?" More seriously, it often distracts us from thoroughly sensible things like planning and preparation. Instead of handing the uncontrollable back to God and concentrating on what is at hand and what we can actually do, we seem to obsess about knowing what the future holds.
Surprisingly, Jesus had quite a bit to say about the subject of worry. His teaching concluded:
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12: 22-31
The lesson is simple - spend less time predicting the future and more time watching birds and smelling flowers. We are not God. No amount of speculation can tell us what tomorrow will bring. We are called to be thankful for what we have, to work hard and honour God, and to seek His strength to deal with tomorrow.