Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Worry Be Happy

Today's Reading: Genesis 20-22; Matthew 6:19-34

Do you remember that song Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin?

I used to LOVE that song as a kid. It used to always make me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And the video was great! The way that they were dancing made me laugh every single time.

Aww the memories of my youth…

But for some reason as I got older I lost the magic that is implicit in that song. I remember hearing it again as a teenager and thinking that it was stupid and almost insulting. Life isn’t that easy.

Or maybe it is?

Bobby is saying that no matter what happens, no matter what comes your way…

Don’t Worry, Be Happy.


The last year has been tough for many of us. I saw many people in my life lose their jobs, and many others fear for theirs. Countless folk lost their homes, their savings, their retirement, and most importantly they lost faith in the popular notion of the American Dream. This idea that you should find a “good job” (that you probably barely tolerate), work for decades, save up some dough, and then enjoy the later part of your life was shattered with the stories of elderly folk taking jobs at Walmart after Madoff stoll their stash.


What does Jesus say about this? Very simply: Don’t Worry:

"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 important than food, and the body more important 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Ummm… good point.

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies 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. 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, O 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. – Matthew 6:25-34

Yeah… more great points.

A summary wouldn’t have done it justice.

Maybe if I weren’t so attached to my car, and clothes, and my TV and such things then this crisis we are in wouldn’t be so scary.

I’m not that enlightened yet.

But the point that he is making is pretty profound. When we worry we are making a choice to live in fear instead of faith.

When I first read this long ago it seemed just as silly and childish as the Bobby McFerrin song. But maybe they’re onto something. Maybe, if we take a chance and decide to live by faith, rather than living by fear, miracles will happen.

After all faith is what we need in order to make a change anyway. It is fear that keeps us where we are, doing what we always did.
This new year is a great opportunity to change. We all know that the old notion of work like crazy for 30 years at a wack job and retire has proven to be wanting.

There’s nothing to lose.

So, might as well go for it. When we decide to live our lives this way, life becomes all the more worth living. It becomes all the more worth living because everyday we will work toward filling it with the things and people that we love, rather than settling for less today in hopes of a “better” tomorrow that may never come.

I believe that God wants us to be happy… so now it’s time to work on trusting God, having faith, and taking a chance on fulfilling the purpose of our lives.
It’s what He wants us to do anyway right?

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