Tomorrow's 'to do' list
By REV. RODRIGO CRUZ
It’s all about perspective.
Two years ago, I had the privilege to read the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5 - 7) to the group of clergy that I was traveling with in the same place that, according to tradition, Jesus gathered the crowds and taught the same words.
While I was reading the end of chapter 6, an overwhelming peace came to my mind and heart.
Jesus was encouraging the crowds not to worry for what they would eat, drink and wear according to what God does with the birds and lilies; and then He said... “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (v.33-34).
I have to admit that often I tend to worry about what the ‘tomorrow’ has for me, my family and my church. I have known for years that Jesus’ words are not a ‘free pass’ to the responsibilities, obligations and opportunities that God has given me to honor him.
I strongly believe that I’m accountable to him and others in every aspect of my life, and I should live a life that strives for excellence. But this particular day these words of scripture challenged me in a different way.
The conviction was not to live a life without worries...but to live a life that would seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness first. My perspective changed and my thoughts moved from "not to do’s," to "do’s":
• Does every aspect of my life (body, mind and soul) seek God’s will?
• Does the way I treat my family, friends, congregation and strangers reflect God’s love and righteousness?
• Does my role within the Church advance the Kingdom of God?
God’s peace came to me when I understood that it is not about ‘what I shouldn't do,' but what I should do. I strongly believe that where my thoughts and actions are, there is also my heart.
It is my prayer that in the midst of your list of shouldn't do’s ... you can develop your list of should do’s!
Rev. Rodrigo Cruz is associate pastor for Hispanic ministries at Northbrook UMC. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.