Friday, October 31, 2014 – Proper 25, Year Two
[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 40, 54 (morning) // 51 (evening)
Ecclesiasticus 34:1-8, 18-22
Today Jesus tells a parable about a man who has a common solution for his current predicament: Build more storage space. When the man’s land yields a bumper crop, he asks himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” His bright idea is to “pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” Then, he will say to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” Sounds like a great plan: build more storage space, fill all that storage space, and sit back and relax for years to come.
Even if our own lives don’t precisely conform to this man’s plan, many of us probably recognize his assumptions and expectations in ourselves. We own more stuff than we have room for, or we have more activities than we have time for. We think that the solution to this problem is to acquire more space, time, or money. And, if we can just get our hands on enough of those things, we can finally relax and be happy.
God has a couple of words for the person who operates according to this plan: “You fool!” Jesus goes on to remind us that birds have no storehouses or barns, “and yet God feeds them.” Jesus goes on to tell us that we can’t increase our life span through worry. And Jesus goes on to point out how beautifully clothed the grass is, with lilies more beautiful than anything gained through toil.
In other words, we don’t need to increase our capacity to store and do things. And we certainly don’t need to wait until we have “enough” before we rest or find joy.
Instead of yearning for a bigger house or for a longer day, and instead of waiting until we accumulate enough, can we find peace and pleasure right here and now? What if, as God says in the parable, “This very night your life is being demanded of you”? Because however much we feel short on space, we might very well be extremely short on days in this precious life to enjoy the gifts around us. I hope we can find some rest and joy in the day we’re facing right now.
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.