Sometimes the Bible feels like an enormous Rubix Cube, impenetrable and locked-up. You reread the same verses but nope – it may as well be in Hebrew, ( it’s all Greek to me). Or maybe it’s more like one of those fiendish baked-bean jigsaws where every piece looks the same. Rebellion, death. Rebellion, death. Bad king, bad king, bad king, bad king…you’re stuck in a Chronicles loop and there’s no end in sight.
But other times, it’s completely different. The National Lottery ad, made flesh. An enormous pointing finger and a voice that booms: ‘It’s YOU’. Every word, a bullet to your heart.
This morning, as usual, I woke up late and in a flap. Stumbled, bleary-eyed into the kitchen. Groped for a cereal bowl. Weetabix or bran flakes? Coffee – or green tea? Must defrost something for lunch: Sunday roast or fish fingers? It’s all too much! Nappy brain just can’t compute.
When I’m stressed or running late, I make bad choices. Instead of just leaving the house, I’ll start a ridiculous task: cleaning the oven say, or defrosting the fridge. This morning, having negotiated breakfast/washing it was my wardrobe. Nothing seemed to fit. Too small, too itchy, too dark, too bright. Why have I nothing to wear? What’s wrong with the iron? A good ten minutes, fussing over identical jumpers. And in the background, a little voice – you’re too late for church now. May as well stay at home and read the papers.
Nope – you’re up now, so let’s go. Crumpled and shamefaced I shuffle into church. Find the right page, keep your head down and reeelax. What’s the passage?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.
OK, Lord. You got me.