6 Easter, Year One[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 80 (morning) // 77,  (evening)
It’s not every day, but it’s often enough, that a Biblical passage points right to my most-ingrained patterns of sin and provokes the response, “Guilty as Charged.” Today, the verse that hits me comes from the letter of James: “the rich will disappear like a flower in the field . . . ; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.” Having a busy life is one of my longest-standing struggles.
It really disturbs me to think of life withering away in the midst of its busy-ness. The Scripture uses the image of a flower in a field to bring this point home: “For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.” What beauty do we lose by staying busy?
It’s tempting not to think of busy-ness as a problem of riches. It can feel like busy-ness comes from the frantic need to keep afloat, to make a living, to manage food and shelter, to provide for our loved ones. There’s certainly an overwhelming busy-ness that comes from the need to work too much for too little to survive, let alone thrive . . . but the letter of James focuses on the busy lives that belong to the rich.
Are there any aspects of our own busy-ness that stem from excess riches in some area of our lives? The household messes, the social activities, the job and volunteer assignments, and more often come from having a weighty share of shelter, community, and opportunities throughout our lives. If we’re not careful, these riches may swirl around us while we wither away.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.