God Wants Less From You, Not More
This morning I read the following passage of Scripture from the Gospel of Matthew:
Give your entire attention what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. - Matthew 6: 34 (MSG)I love this version of Jesus' teaching on worry from The Message, which was translated by the late author and Presbyterian minister Eugene Peterson. When I read this verse today, it was like I'd never really read it before.
This is a season in my life when I feel as though there are far too many things that need doing, but I don't seem to have enough time or energy to get them done as I would like. There are days when it feels like I'm moving from one crisis to another.
And I know for a fact I'm not the only who feels this way. There are a lot of us out there who are doing our best to put one foot in front of the other so we can just keep going until there is some sort of peace, a hint of Sabbath on the other side of it all.
We feel like if we can just get "one more thing done," we'll be closer to our goal of finding time to do more things. And before we know it, we're starting to apply this kind of reasoning to our spiritual lives as well.
Richard Rohr calls this living in a "meritocracy of quid pro quo," within which we begin to believe that what God wants from us is simply more. If we can just do more if we can just be better... than God will favor us.
But as Rohr points out:
Divine love is received by surrender instead of any performance principle whatsoever.Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6 is all about surrender and not about performance. It's about living in the moment rather than frittering your moments away worrying about all of the moments you're not getting to yet.
And ultimately it's about trust in the One who will give you the strength to face whatever those next moments bring, and realizing that God doesn't want more from you, God actually wants less. God doesn't want quantity--God wants quality.
May this be so for you today and every day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. Amen.