“careless in the care of God”
That’s a phrase from Eugene Peterson I read this morning. (From his translation of Matthew 6:26 where Jesus is talking about the birds and how they don’t worry about what to eat or what to wear. And how life is about more than that. And anyway look how God cares for birds and we are far more to him than birds.)
“Look at the birds”–(this by the way, as a famous theologian once pointed out, means bird watching is a commandment)–“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.”
“Careless in the care of God.” Careless? Hmm. Isn’t that being irresponsible? Isn’t that something we should avoid?
I think it’s all to do with who’s doing the caring, whose care we are in.
If it’s our own care then we better not be careless. If it’s all up to us, then we better be vigilant. We can’t let our guard down for a minute.
Obviously, if you are the pilot of a plane, being careless as you fly is Not Good. You can’t take a nap. You can’t decide to watch a movie. You can’t leave the cockpit and go and chat with the passengers. You must be very careful, you must pay attention constantly to what you are doing or the plane will go down.
But what if you are a passenger? You can afford to fall asleep, watch a movie, chat with your neighbor or not, kick back and relax, do whatever–since you’re not the one flying the plane. It’s not all up to you to keep the plane in the air.
The birds aren’t worrying. They are care-free. Not anxious. Why? Because God cares for them. They are in his care. God is the one caring for them.
Sometimes I forget I’m not the one flying the plane.
How about you?