Thursday, March 16

Considering Lilies

So, I've been considering the lilies of the field, and how they grow. While it is pretty easy to see the lesson on not relying on music written by church members to accurately quote the scriputres, the lesson the Lord was trying to teach us isn't as forthcoming. The scriptures, found here and here, make it fairly clear that the Lord is talking about making a choice to serve him instead of serving Satan, or the world. But it isn't as cut and dry as that.

I have, from my youth, been taught the law of the harvest. You work for things now, and recieve a reward proportional to your labors. I was taught that this law applies in all aspects of life. If you work hard at school, you get a reward of increased knowledge, and better opportunities because of your good grades. If you eat wholesome you recieve a reward of strength, and good health. If you pray earnestly everyday you receive the reward of the companionship of the Spirit, and greater spiritual insight. You know, cause and effect. There are the obvious situations where gratification is delayed, but we are promised that no blessing will be eternally denied us. This is how we deal with some of the injustices of life.

I have also been strictly taught that temporal independence and self reliance are not just a good idea, they're vital to my self-esteem, good standing before God and Mankind, and ability to be righteous in keeping my stewardships. We've all been in the sunday school lesson on self reliance and emergency preparedness. We've all learned that by being self reliant we are not a burden to those around us, making us feel good about ourselves. By having a job and working we are contributing to the Kingdom of God, and being a good example to those around us. When we fail to provide for our families (by being self-reliant) we have failed in one of our most important callings. Self reliance allows us to live our lives with fewer hinderances(debt) that may prevent us from following the Lord as we see fit.

Reading the beatitudes that I linked earlier becomes much more confusing with the importance of self-reliance drilled into your heads. I especially take issue with this line "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." The last time I checked, one of my major duties as a homemaker is to do exactly that, not just for myself, but for my whole family. And what of the children of Israel gathering their Manna. If they gathered more than they could eat it would go bad, as if in punishment for not having sufficient faith that the Lord would provide again tomorrow. What does that mean about our food storage advice? How can we reconcile the advice to take no thought for our lives when we are constantly told that we must take thought for our lives?

The thought arises that this isn't about food, clothes, and money, It's about trusting the Lord to do what he say's he's going to do. If he says he'll provide for us, then trust him enough to not worry about it. If he says to stock pile food then we should trust him enough to believe that it will be worth our efforts. He no longer asks us to trust him to provide, but now asks us to believe his threats and prepare ourselves.

The other option is that 'no thought' here really means, secondary thought. We worry more about keeping the commandments, than we do about having clothes and food. This is still applicable especailly in the area of tithes. Many people pay their tithing knowing that after they do so, they won't have enough money to pay their other obligations. They pay their tithing trusting that they will be provided for by the Lord because he even takes care of those lazy ravens, who neither sow, nor reap.

Speaking of ravens I have a friend who once was attacked by ravens. He had a lemon-meringue pie. They converged on him and ate the whole thing. The Lord certainly does take care of the ravens. I wish he'd provide me with a pie.

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