What do you do?
In America, one of the first questions after meeting someone and asking their name is some version of, “What do you do?” It can be “What did you do before you retired? “for an older person, or “What do you plan to do?” for a high school student. For in this culture, we tend to define ourselves by what we do or what we produce. We place a very high value on work and career. We admire busy, efficient, multitasking individuals (and then we ask them to do more.) And when we are not working hard, a huge part of our identity is called into question. If you have ever been unemployed, the basic question of “What do you do?” can start to feel very threatening or shaming.
The gospel passage from Matthew 6: 25-34 about the lilies of the field has long been a challenge to me and my temptation to be continually busy. Many days I do not act like I really believe that God would take care of me if I stopped doing everything I am doing. Yet, the promise is there. God will love and care for us even when we are not busy. We are loved not as human do-ings, but as human be-ings, created in the image of God.
I invite you today, to turn away from one of the items on your to-do list, and to take a moment to watch the birds fly by or to walk around the block to see the flowers in bloom. Let God take care of you for a few moments.