Say what you will about the old TV shows: They were naive. They weren’t completely honest. They were sentimental. All of that may be true, but at least they attempted to foster the best of our hopes and dreams rather than pandering to our lowest desires. One such show was “Father Knows Best.” Robert Young played the dad and the comedy was gentle, but the show focused on a good-natured father who really was a source of wisdom and example for his family. So, yeah, it may have been a bit unrealistic, but at least dad was the hero instead of the buffoon or the tyrant so often portrayed in today’s media.
Call me a bit nostalgic, but shouldn’t we desire the highest ideals instead of a false and so-called “honesty” that glorifies darkness?
It’s this missing the point; this skewed focus on lesser things; that takes our lives down the wrong paths. Losing the ability to set our sights on proper priorities and ultimate destinations sends our lives spiraling out of control and soon we look around and ask the question “How did I get here?”
Look at our Gospel Lesson today in Luke 12:13-15, 22-31. The Lord is teaching those following Him about just this very truth: It isn’t in focusing on your immediate success or possessions or achievements that is going to make your life fulfilling. It’s picking out that ultimate “spot” at the end of your life that will make your life straight!
And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider. the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. Luke 12:25-31
So, worrying about all these lesser goals is just like looking down while you’re plowing a field: your row is going to be a crooked as a dog’s hind leg! Your life is going to be filled with worry and disappointment and jealousy and anger and all manner of spiritually poisonous illnesses. Foolishly being gripped by this short-sighted living means you’ll never know the freedom of generosity, of peaceful trust that God knows what you need from day to day and that unhurried confidence of knowing where you are ultimately going. Looking at how God takes care of His world is meant to show you that God knows what you need as well! Do you see the power in this spiritually mature perspective? This means that every event, no matter how pleasant or how difficult, is ultimately a moment where you can learn, be shaped by, and assisted in your ultimate destination. And all you have to do is refuse to fall into the short-sighted trap of looking down at the moment rather than keeping your eyes on your final destination. After all, your Father knows what you need from day to day and He loves you even more than you love yourself. And His love is so much more trustworthy than any self-love we may have! Father really does know best!