Let’s share a secret with one another (and I promise not to tell anyone else if you don’t): we don’t like to trust. We say we do, and maybe we want to, but push us and we become armadillos, ready to either extend our claws and fight our way out or roll up in a ball. “Letting things happen”, “trusting God” — these are more the material for bumper stickers or Bobby McFerrin songs than real life.
And it is true, birds can only live day to day, and yet they survive. And flowers can’t even move, poor things, yet they flourish. But it’s also naïve to say we have nothing to fear. Read a paper (or even just a couple tweets). And some of the scariest things are inevitable. As one old Jesuit I know used to whisper playfully: “None of us are getting out of here alive.”
Worry, though…it’s like fog rolling in. It makes even the familiar strange and scary. Lost in its clutches we lose track of the God who loves us, the one who sits beside us in our hardships and has given us this wondrous gift of life.
Sometimes worry is unavoidable. But Jesus’ words today remind us that all around us the little beauties of creation wait to be seen and savored by us again, and to draw us back from fear into life.
—Fr. Jim McDermott, S.J, a Wisconsin province Jesuit, is an accomplished professional screenwriter who lives at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles CA.