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June 21

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June 21


The Cure for Anxiety


Some of us seek what the Chinese call "the iron rice bowl."  We seek security, the rice bowl which will not break.  No matter how much we have we worry about our security.  Christ tells us this is a sin;  Christ tells us not to do this; but we do it every day.  We may call it "planning for the future" or "being foresighted" but what we really mean is this:  we want to make absolutely certain, as a first thing, that we know where our next meal is coming from.

Others of us have passed beyond that.  We seek what the Chinese call "the golden rice bowl."  Security we no longer worry about, if we ever did—but extravagance we must have.  Our clothes must be the latest fashion;  the watch on our wrist need not tell time but must make a fashion statement;  we will diet to lose weight but must eat at a gourmet restaurant to do it.  As a first thing, we seek the best in material things—and ignore the best of eternal things.

This passage is often quoted without the last two verses, but they are essential to the understanding of the passage.  Our Lord was not giving us an unrelated thought, but the capstone of the lesson.  We have been given the kingdom of God, with all material things we need thrown in.  Therefore, says Christ, in the same spirit that cuts off the arm that drags you to hell, get rid of the riches that do likewise.

Our Lord makes it simpler.  Take your treasure, throw it into heaven (by giving it to the poor) and observe:  your heart will follow, even to eternal life.

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