Last week I referenced in this blog, that if I pictured myself walking the Camino Walk, then I supposed that the temperature might be out of my comfort zone. I was referring to the heat, as the average temperature for this area of northern Spain in October is 18 degrees C.* Too hot for walking and climbing in my opinion but as I understand it, as the days roll by and the temperatures drops, there needs to be factored in an increasing chance of rain.
So, imagine my surprise when I received a picture from my friend of a snow covered signpost, surrounded by a snow covered landscape. Yes, that’s right. Snow! Beautiful but unexpected!
Apparently my friend made the Spanish News for, in her own words, ‘being the only nutter walking off into the snow’.
Bless her, she didn’t have clothes specifically suitable for this weather, she just made sure that she wore ALL she had!
This brought to mind the holy tension between our need, as Christians, to be prepared, ready and equipped and yet, not to worry or be anxious about tomorrow.
If we take a look at the following parable, taught by Jesus, we can see the wisdom in being prepared and equipped with what you might need for your journey and also the potentially very serious consequences of not being ready.
Matthew Chapter 25 Verse 1 ESV
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Seems clear enough, doesn’t it? We need to plan and look ahead, don’t we? And yet, in the following parable, also taught by Jesus, we can clearly see the pointless nature of worry and anxiety. We are asked to consider if being anxious can add a single hour to our lifespan?
Matthew Chapter 6 Verse 31 – 34 ESV
Do Not Be Anxious
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We know scripturally that we will have trouble in this world and there is wisdom in planning ahead. We also know that expecting the unexpected and waiting in fear and anxiety may give the illusion of control but in reality, it is pointless and changes nothing. Worrying won’t increase our provision of food, drink, clothing, time or indeed anything else! So what then should we do?
The answer is far simpler than it can at first appear, read once more; But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Paul also writes in Philippians;
Philippians Chapter 4 Verse 6 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Seek Him first and trust in the help and counsel of the Holy Spirit as He will provide for your needs and lead you in planning with God-given wisdom in line with His will. In all things, we are called to trust in Him. That is ALL things, whether expected or not.