for the Journey
Along THE WAY
My Lord and my God —
- Here I am again, falling down before Your Holy Presence. Again I offer myself and my whole life to You. Help me at every moment of every day to trust You totally in every single thing, in every aspect of my life. Help me to realize that only then can I be secure. We are bombarded by so many false substitutes for true security: to enroll in this or that insurance, medical or investment plan, drive this car, use that bank, buy this product or that in order to feel "secure." We are bombarded by the media, especially in advertisements, with instructions of what we must do to plan for our future "security." And family members also seek to duly instruct us about what we must do to have future "security." I think of Christ's story about the man who focused his energies on building bigger and bigger barns to fill with more and more grain — to have "security" — and how useless his labors were, because that night the Lord called him to depart this life. But he had ignored that which is truly important in life, in order to pursue some elusive, and ultimately meaningless, "security." Lord, it seems that so many of us "sell our souls" for security, whereas what the world-that-knows-You-not calls "security" is not security at all — it is a phantom, and frequently too, the ploys of advertisers, who play on people's fears and insecurities, in order to get people to buy their product or service.
And then, Lord, on a collective scale, we squander our nation's resources in the name of national "security," while our educational levels decline, and millions of people (especially women and children) are deprived of even basic health care. And then, Lord, on a personal scale, we squander our individual resources of time and energy in the name of personal "security" — "building for the future," and accumulating more and more and more, and nothing ever seems to be enough. Certainly, Lord, we must not just live aimlessly, without any thought for the future and where we are going. And certainly, Lord, we must not say that we should "eat, drink and be merry," for tomorrow we may die.
But, Lord, it takes so much for us to turn our backs on all our "social programming" about building for our "security," and all the false, presumed "securities." Lord, it takes so much for us to realize that only by living our lives centered on You, and trusting in You and Your will is there any true security. It takes so much for us to learn that financial planning has nothing to do with true security, and that bank accounts, real estate, investment plans have nothing to do with "peace of mind." In fact, I suspect, Lord, that the more bank accounts, real estate and investments people have, the less peace of mind they have, and the less real security. Lord, this must be a major human spiritual problem, otherwise the Bible would not speak of it so much.
Lord, I think also about a different aspect of our craving for "security" — the supposed "security" of that which is familiar and "comfortable." How many lives have been wasted because people were afraid of leaving the security of their familiar worlds? Sure, Lord, it is scary to move on, to reach out and up, to move past ourselves and to grow. And I guess, Lord, that the only way we can have the courage to let go of what we need to let go of — that is, whatever holds us back from growing closer to You and being conformed to Your Image and Your Will — is to trust You and recognize that only You are our security — that we can be secure only when we rest in You. Then, if our security rests in You, we won't be afraid to take Your outstretched hand and follow You wherever You lead.
Lord, I think of Abraham, and I can understand why Your Holy Scriptures considers him to be the model, the paradigm, of faith. When You told him to take all his family and animals and possessions (which were considerable), and leave his home and go where You would tell him to go — he did it! Would I have done that? It is so very difficult to just 'up and go'! "...and where shall I go?" asked Abraham (Abram). And You replied, "Where I shall tell you to go." WOW! That's rough, Lord. It sure is rough to accept and apply in our own lives that You really expect us to have faith like Abraham's, and to be willing to go wherever You tell us, regardless of how foolish it looks in the world's eyes. Help me to understand that even though Abraham was quite wealthy materially, that was not his security. His real wealth was his faith in You: You were his security. Now I also think of Noah, and how he was regarded as a total fool for building an enormous ark/ship in the desert, and filling it with all the animals. Of course, we know what happened to all those who ridiculed Noah, but what was it like for Noah and his family before it started to rain? I guess Noah's faith in You gave him the security he needed to take what appeared to be such outrageous actions. I guess You were Noah's security, too, just as, later on, You were Abraham's
Lord, please help me to be like Abraham and Noah. Please help me to trust in You as my only security. Please help me to truly realize that if I have You as my security, then I don't need to be afraid of whatever the future brings. If I trust You as my security, then I can trust that whatever happens in my life is at Your hands, and that You know far better than I what is best for me. Lord, if only more people would accept You as their security, then it seems that people would no longer be so ruled and driven by their fears. I guess the advertisements really play on people's fears, insecurities, and desire for security.
Lord, I think that the reason there are so many false, secular offers of security is precisely because so much insecurity abounds — emotional, spiritual and material insecurity. It seems that we are afraid of everything: we are afraid of getting sick, getting old, of losing our jobs, spouses, homes; afraid of having an automobile accident; afraid of failure, of ridicule, of rejection, of pain; afraid to change; afraid of anyone or anything that is different; afraid of life, and most of all, afraid of death. Lord, why are we always so afraid? The Bible is full of examples of being afraid. Even when You would send one of Your angels with a message to someone, the first thing Your angel would say is: "Don't be afraid."
But Lord, it seems to me that all these insecurities and fears that seem to dominate our lives are all the result of not trusting You, the result of our lack of faith in You — of not truly accepting in our hearts that only when we rest peacefully in You can we have true security and be set free from the enslavement to our fears and insecurities. Lord, please enable me to live according to these understandings. Amen.