Friday, August 19, 2011

And You? Go About Your Business Without Fretting or Worrying

The blog post title is part of the concluding line of Daniel chapter 12 in The Message paraphrase.  With everything going on today that word of wisdom from an angel is a good reminder to all of us!

Seriously, there are certain things in life that are beyond our control that we can not do anything about.  I can not stop a stock market crash.  I can not stop a meteor if it chooses to come to close to earth.  I can not cure cancer.  This is not my area of knowledge or expertise.  For some people, this is their area of expertise and God bless them for using their skills to address certain problems!  But in the whole scheme of things there are certain things that are beyond my control and worrying myself sick over them will not help me or anyone else!  Daniel needed this reminder as well!

Prior to these closing lines Daniel had seen some pretty scary visions in vivid detail-sort of like a 3-D bad dream with surround sound!  We know he became physically ill trying to process the information and we know he got distracted from his duties because of the dreams.  Daniel even tells us that he fainted in terror.  It wasn't until an angel came and touched him that he regained some strength and then he was able to listen to the interpretation.  Bottom line, Daniel was seeing future events and they were going to happen and there was nothing that he could do about them.  He was told simply to write them down and then put the vision under lock and key because now was not the time to reveal them to others. 

I know that doesn't sound very hopeful but even in the midst of chaos God always provides hope if we are willing to listen through the ears of faith!  If you go back to chapter 10 when Daniel first encounters the angel he starts off by saying this:

"Daniel' he said, 'man of quality, listen carefully to my message...From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you."
Now understand, at this point in time Daniel had been praying for three weeks.  The angel then goes on to explain that he was delayed because he had to fight against the prince of Persia (keep in mind that battles happen beyond our realm of seeing and understanding) and it wasn't until Michael came to help, that this angel was able to get away in order to speak to Daniel.   Makes you wonder what would have happened if Daniel had stopped praying and waiting for an answer, doesn't it?  

In chapter 12 the angel goes on to tell Daniel that there will be big battles ahead, many will die but those who have chosen to live wisely, those who lead others by their example will be saved.  The angel says this:

"And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like starts forever...In the interim there is going to be a lot of frantic running around, trying to figure out what's going on."
 At the very end the angel tells Daniel to relax and go about his business without worrying.  In other words, keep living the life you have been given to the very best of your ability.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't concern ourselves with things that we should be taking care of ourselves.  What it means is that we can't drive ourselves to distraction and despair over things that are beyond our control.  We can talk a good talk but if we don't lead by example then we can't lead others towards the path they should follow. 

Too often we fall in to one of two camps.  The first camp is the pessimist group-they worry over anything and everything and because they are so obsessed with worrying they get absolutely nothing accomplished.  The world is going to hell in a hand basket and the sky is gonna fall, so what's the point?  Everything is scary, everything is risky and rather than dealing with things right in front of them they just shut down.  The other group is the "the Lord will provide" camp.  I don't have to do anything about this because the Lord will provide.  Again, nothing gets accomplished because they just sit back and wait for the big hand in the sky to drop off what they think they need.  Thing is, what they need may be right smack in front of them but they do nothing with it because it doesn't look like anything they expected! 

There has to be balance.  Don't worry about things you can't change.  Do take care of things that you have control over.  Pray and keep praying for things you need.  Thank God when he shows you how to take care of things in ways that you did not expect.  If you keep on keeping on, regardless of circumstances people will notice.  If you want others to follow lead by example.  Give them something worth following.  And go about your business without fretting or worrying. 

Pretty good advice if you ask me!  It came from an angel.  But if you want even more evidence of what good advice this is, go read what Jesus said because he said the same exact thing!

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