Apparently nature does not like empty space. It’s got to be filled with something.
That’s probably more true for human nature than anything else. Doing nothing is usually the domain of the deceased. Even when people are called lazy, it’s not because they are literally doing nothing – it’s usually because whatever they are doing does not amount to what observers suggest is a gainful and constructive use of their time.
One of the things, that human nature loves to use its time for in taking up space is worrying. Jesus had clearly instructed His followers not to worry. He did this with some good reasons about God’s care for nature and even greater priority on humanity made in His image.
In the last part of addressing the worry issue, Jesus ensured that human nature would not be left with empty space.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:31-33
The King knows that we’re the type to be seeking for things. The Gentiles certainly made worry a top seeking preoccupation. It’s not that different today.
There are plenty of things demanding people’s attention to go seeking after it. This is why it’s important to listen to what the King says about the first pursuit. There’s clearly plenty about the rule of God to absorb interest. There’s enough about wondering about His rule to occupy time and energy. There’s more than enough to keep us going looking to exercise His righteousness or bearing witness to it in action.
That space that you used to take up with worrying about the perceived essentials of life – food, clothing, shelter – can now be used for applying action to what’s even more fundamental – the goodness, the kindness, the wonder, the mercy, the compassion, the provision, the justice, the grace, the wisdom and the power of God expressed in His rule.
It might taking some getting used to this new way of spending life. It can be a bit difficult when operating in a way different to the rest of the world around you. This is not, however, something that you do on your own. The rule of God is a relational rule – with Him and His family. It’s about brothers and sisters living the overflowing life of Christ in harmony together as a witness to the watching world.
The challenge remains for us, though – will we fill the space of life with fears and anxieties. Will we pay lip-service to what the King says and prefer to pursue our own priorities? Will we look to displace the majesty of the King who rules in mercy and generous grace? Will we revert back to what was causing only grief and heartache?
Or will we hear, obey and teach others to observe what King Jesus says?
For His Name’s Sake
C. L J. Dryden