Russell Washington

Posts Tagged ‘life’

Take No Thought

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2013 at 2:58 am

“Take no thought for your life, what you should eat; neither for the body, what you should wear.  The life is more than meat and the body is more than clothes (Luke 12: 22-23).” These are Jesus’s words as he teaches his disciples what life is or perhaps more accurately what life is not.  As I ponder these words, I reflect on my own practices as well as the practices of those that I have observed while visiting Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, India, South Africa, and Ghana.  Honestly speaking, the dominant share of my thoughts is job related.  My job allows me to make provisions for food, clothing, and the other great material need not directly mentioned by Jesus, shelter.  I spend the lion’s share of my time “making a living”.  The money that I earn is then spent on the mortgage (shelter), food, clothing, and more household (shelter) bills (gas, electric, water).  Moreover, the car loan and the gasoline for the car that is needed to make more efficient use of time to get back and forth to work, get the children to school and back home, and buy the food necessary for living are additional expenditures.  And in my case just like a great many others, the temptation to participate in the never-ending American pastime (or perhaps the World pastime) of chasing upward mobility is ever present, which equates to a pursuit of bigger, more luxurious homes, cars, as well as the pursuit of fine clothing and the routine experience of fine dining, fun leisure activities, and travel. 


Many people living in countries like China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, South Africa, Ghana and the US struggle to earn enough to provide the basics (food, clothing, and shelter) for their families.  Consequently, earning money to provide the basics dominates their daily activities.  In well-developed places like Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore people work hard to attain and maintain the “good life”, which seemingly is greater material accumulation.  It is plainly evident that Jesus’s words so many years ago are just as relevant now as they were when he spoke them.  Jesus said that every nationality/ethnic group pursues what they will eat and what they will wear (Luke 12: 30).  A great percentage of the world’s economy is built on making these necessities available for purchase.


While the pursuit of these necessities are not evil, they tend to preoccupy our thinking and therefore dominate what we spend our time doing.  Little time and energy is left for us to seek the “Kingdom”, which Jesus directs us to prioritize our time doing (Luke 12: 30-31). Jesus said that “life” is more than the pursuit of material necessities. Therefore, his alternative of Kingdom pursuit must equal real “life”.  Astonishingly, Jesus asserts that if we prioritize living a “Kingdom” lifestyle then material necessities would be added to us.  Apparently, there is economy associated with living a “Kingdom” lifestyle.  Quite naturally then, a Christ protégé (I count myself as one) must ask himself/herself, what is the Kingdom?  How do I live in the Kingdom or live a Kingdom lifestyle?  By what means are necessities added to me?