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“Look Up, and Look Out”

Is it just me, or does grass grow extra quickly in Hilo? If you own a lawn, you probably know this. I’ve spent the last year working on my lawn. I’ve never had one before, so this is all new to me. Sometimes I mow my lawn, and it seems the grass grows 3 inches the very next day. At first it was quite stressful to work on my lawn. But recently I have been enjoying it. So much so that Lauren and I got some gardening hats.

It has been refreshing to look forward to a task that was once stressful. But what changed? Partly, it was my attitude. I used to think, “I HAVE to take care of my lawn.” Now I think, “I GET to take care of my lawn.” There is still a lot of work left to do, but I’m seeing results. But I can honestly say that lawn care has become therapeutic for me. It has actually helped me to deal with the main topic for this article...Worry.

Five hundred years ago, Michel de Montaigne said: "My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened." It’s amazing how our minds can cause us to worry about things that never happen. We tend to worry about so much in life.

We worry about what people think. We worry about what we perceive others to be doing.

We get fixated on “what if” statements. We have fears about what could go wrong. We worry that we will continue repeating the mistakes of the past. We can even worry by striving too much for perfection. The good news is that Jesus gives us practical advice when addressing our worries:

26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 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?

-Matthew 6:26-30

Notice the rhetorical question that Jesus asked his listeners in verse 27. Worrying doesn’t extend our lives. In fact, it seems to do the exact opposite. Worrying is something that we have all done at some point in our lives. Perhaps you are like me and are currently dealing with worry. The truth is, worrying doesn’t help. Instead, it seems to do the opposite. It intensifies the situation in our minds and hearts and can lead to anxiety.

So, what do we do? According to this passage, we must look at the birds of the air, and the flowers of the field. God takes care of the birds and flowers, so surely, He will take care of you! This is part of the reason why taking care of my lawn has been so therapeutic. It is an opportunity to do a mindless task while LOOKING UP toward the sky, and LOOKING OUT toward the field.

So, are you anxious and/or troubled? Take some time to LOOK UP, toward the birds of the air. Remember that God feeds them, so God will surely feed you. Also make sure to LOOK OUT toward the flowers of the field. God clothes the flowers of the field, so God will surely clothe you.

The reminder in this passage is that God will take care of our needs. There’s a familiar saying, “No worries.” I know we’ve heard that on many occasions, but I truly do believe that is something that God wants for us. God is in control. He has a plan, and it’s perfect. If you are worried or anxious, I want to tell you that, “It’s going to be okay.” This week let's challenge ourselves to remember that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth has us covered! Take some time to LOOK UP, LOOK OUT, so that you can have NO WORRIES.

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