Sunday morning while I was standing outside greeting people as they were entering church someone’s greeting (and I’ve heard this before from time to time) was, ‘Is everything going your way?’ They were trying to be nice & I know the expected answer was ‘Yes,’ but whenever I’m asked that I always take it as a real question and say – emphatically, maybe even with a short laugh of incomprehensible derision, “NO!” I have some inkling of how God wants the world to go, here in our community, around the state, the country and the world. I read enough news to know that most often things fall far short of where God wants them to be. Part of my calling as a Christian – which I think should be a common calling for all who follow Jesus – is to want what he wants for the world and its peoples. So if things aren’t going HIS way, I can’t say they’re going MY way.
Well, I guess I could say they were going MY way as a way of confessing my sin. “Yes, I have been sinning lately, preferring my way over God’s ways. Maybe not everything is going MY way, but too many things are, and I need to learn to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.'”
Should I worry about this? The Bible, especially in the New Testament, seems to frown on worrying. We’re supposed to give all our cares to God, because he cares for us. We’re supposed to let him carry our every worry and anxiety. So should I be concerned that things AREN’T going my way – or that things ARE going my way, the way of the sinner I am?
As a parent, I share (bear?) some of my kid’s worries. One child is graduating in May. She’s worried that she won’t find a job in her area. Now my “worry” in that context is somewhat different than hers. I “worry” that she’ll be so exacting that she won’t seize other opportunities that may be available. I “worry” that she’ll worry too much and passively expect jobs to show up on her doorstep. I “worry” that she won’t seek out wisdom & advice from people who know more than she does (her parents about some things, her teachers about others).
It’s when our worries become exclusively OURS & unshared with God that we get in big trouble. Otherwise, at least some (probably a great deal) of the things we call “worries” are things where we see a gap between the way things are and the way things should be. Is awareness of this gap a bad – or unChristian – thing? I don’t see how. What do you think?