Those are good names. Churches I’ve served have had leaders by those names. The equivalent of a congregational president named Ida May…a pastor’s daughter named Katrina…a beloved Sunday School coordinator named Camille. I served one church in Virginia that had three leaders named Betsy, each of whom was essential to that congregation’s health.
But when I write those names together, you and I both know that I am not thinking of church leaders.
We are entering into the thick of hurricane season down here. NOAA says that this is likely to be another year of higher-than-average activity. I wonder if the time has come to adjust our expectations of “average”. It can be a challenge to set aside anxiety at this time of year. Sometimes I do better than other times. There are things that help, like getting enough exercise and sleep, and having a plan of what to do if a major storm is headed our way.
I’ll tell you a secret: my quiet, inner voice sometimes whispers the word “lilies” in my ear. I repeat it to myself, visualize beautiful lilies blowing gently in the wind. Lilies. Sometimes it is the only thing that helps. Remember these words that Jesus spoke in Matthew?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. 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 worrying can add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry 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 clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the gentiles who seek all these things, and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God[c] and his] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Consider the lilies…
Yep, even this one.
Seek first the kingdom of God…and do not worry about tomorrow. Even in hurricane season.
Grace and peace,