My father sold life insurance for over forty years. He’d say things to me like, ”Tim, you can never have too much life insurance.” Or, “Insurance is a great way of saving.” And, “Salespersons have a noble profession, they make the economy run.”
Dad did well. He sent three children through college and he and mom traveled a bit in retirement. He did it all in a business that places a high value on being prepared for the future. Insurance is an industry that tries to take the uncertainty out of life . . . where will I live? How will I take care of myself? What if I get sick? Will I have enough to . . . ??? One insurance company’s slogan says it pretty clearly, “to take the IF out of life”.
Hearing the gospel this Sunday, one might think Jesus would have made a lousy insurance salesman. “Therefore, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will wear . . . look at the birds in the sky, they gather nothing into barns yet, God feeds them.” Or, “learn from the lilies of the field, they neither work nor worry, yet not even King Solomon was dressed as fine as they.” Don’t worry. Be happy. Right?
The “don’t worry” part doesn’t mean we don’t work hard to earn our food and lodging. The apostles were fisher-men, St. Paul was a tent maker, Jesus worked as a carpenter. The Parable of the Talents (three servants, given different sums of money) shows us that God expects a return on His investment. “Why didn’t you at least put my money in the bank to gain interest?” There’s a common sense to living in this world which we must heed.
So what’s the point of the gospel this Sunday? Do your best to secure what you need in this life. This is our duty as members of family and community. BUT . . . don’t let getting these things become the most important thing you do. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and (guess what?) all that you need will be given to you.” Mt. 6:25ff
How do you seek God’s Kingdom? Seek out goodness rather than evil, generosity rather than selfishness, forgiveness rather than resentment, kindliness over spite, courage over cowardice, patience rather than anger. In other words, live as Christ has shown us.
Dear friends it doesn’t mean we’ll all get what we want in our lives, but it does mean we will get what we really need . . . what we really need to live our best lives, our God purposed lives.
Now, I can’t convince you of this promise of Christ. I can only try to witness to it with my own life. Each of us must ask Him to help with our needs and then trust that what happens to you is God’s loving will. “Oh Lord, give me the grace to trust in your plan and to be resolved to do my part for your Kingdom. Then do with me as you will.”
Do something kind for someone this week.