“How to Live a Life Without Worry”
(from Sunday Bulletin June 24, 2018)
“I was asked a very pertinent question concerning my homily last Sunday. As you may recall, the homily was based on Jesus’ instructing us to not be concerned about the worries of this life, about what we shall eat, what we shall drink or what we shall wear.
Psalm 42:5 sums up the worries of this life and how we should respond to them:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you so disturbed within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
A parishioner asked how exactly we live a life without worrying about these things; to put this in the words of the Psalmist, how do we put our hope in God. It is an excellent question and one that, if I had been paying better attention, should have been answered in the homily itself.
The answer is both extremely simple and at the same time, very difficult: we should live a life of prayer.
A life of prayer helps with the anxieties and worries of life in a few different ways. First of all, it helps us to turn our attention from the worries of our life to our God who loves us. When we start the day with prayer, then our focus is not on the troubles of our life and the potential problems of the coming day, but rather on God and His providential care for us. This helps to give us a healthier focus.
Secondly, it helps us to live a life of thankfulness (Greek: eucharistia). This reminds us that God has given us all that we have needed and offers us hope that He will continue to do so. Finally, it helps us to rely on His Holy Will instead of our broken one. Ultimately, He cares for us and knows what is best for us. If we focus and trust in His will, we can know that He will take care of our needs.
The morning prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow sums up nicely what we should be asking of God each morning:
O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.”
+ Father Nathan