Some gospel stories are much easier to enter into than others. I find this Sunday's Gospel both a bit of a challenge on the one hand, and way too easy on the other.
On the one hand Jesus leads off with those immortal words: "Don't let your hearts be troubled, have faith in God and faith in me"...and every single stressed part of my very human heart wants to snap back at him..."Oh REALLY??" I have no problem jumping right into this imaginary narrative.
What could we possibly have to feel stressed about? Our world? The economy? My budget? My job? My family? My ailing mom? My future? My weight? My health? My friends? All those things jump to mind before I can even take another breath. REALLY Jesus??? Don't worry? Easy for you and your all knowing self to say!! Quite another story for simple humble human me to try and live out.
Do I know anyone in the world who doesn't worry at some point about something? I don't think so. I know worrying isn't good for me, and I know it doesn't change the given reality at all. So why do I let myself go there? Is this something I can change about myself? I'm not sure. I hope so. I don't like all the energy I can spend worrying about things I can't change.
If I can only change myself then I'd better get started. What if, rather than getting upset with others, I just tried to accept that everyone is doing the best they can in any given situation. I wonder if that would help me be kinder and less harsh with others?
Later on in Sunday's Gospel Jesus refers to himself as "the way, the truth and the life." Leave it to John to be so philosophical. This is the part of the passage that I can struggle with. What does this mean? I'm only guessing here, but I think if I want to let go of the worrying, that I have to delve into Jesus as MY way, MY truth and light. If I surround myself, cover myself, in his embrace, I can feel safe and secure. Why would I need to worry about anything I am centered in Jesus. If Jesus is the way I move through life, if he is there as I make my choices, if Jesus is the one I count on to be by my side on the journey, if Jesus helps me to see clearly...why the heck do I worry?
I guess that's where my frail humanity trips me up. But this Sunday reminds me to hand my cares and concerns over to the One who sees the big picture and promises to guide me, to hold my hand on the journey, to walk with me to the end.
And so my heart is not troubled.
Happy Mother's Day to all you out there who nurture others into fullness of life.