He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
“Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.
This year has felt like 10 years, has it not? Really, since mid-March it has, in many ways, felt like the world has simply stopped. We know that’s not really true but, everything is a bit out of joint.
Jesus continues to talk about the end times, the fancy word is “eschaton.” He’s teaching the folks that they need to pay attention and see the beauty that will be coming. The danger is that they will be so caught up in the “anxieties of life” that they will miss the beauty.
If that’s not something that I needed to hear, I don’t know what is.
There is so much anxiety in the world today. It feels like it’s everywhere. When I pop on my Facebook, another friend has hit their “day.” We each have these, the moment that it feels like everything is just too much. We need things to go back to the way they were. But, they won’t.
Last week I had my “day.” I was sad. I was frustrated. I was experiencing frustration that seemed a bit out of nowhere. I just wanted everything to go back to normal. I wanted to spend time with my people. Everything was bad.
Thankfully, I have some great friends. I was able to vent, dump, share, whine, and complain. They listened and prayed. They were kind.
All of a sudden, I began to see the good and the beauty again around me.
It turns out that everything is not bad.
No, there is good. There is beauty. There is joy.
One of the best moments this past week was when our neighbors did a “Card and a Carol.” They dropped a Christmas card on our porch, rang the bell, and then when we opened the door they sang a Christmas carol. It was brilliant! True joy was emanating from them and it infected us too.
Oh my friends! Let us not allow the “anxieties of life” to win the day.
What did I learn last week after hitting my wall? First, I learned that I needed to sit with, share, and communicate what I was feeling. That was key to not letting the anxieties of life win the day. Second, I realized that I need to be way more intentional about looking for the beautiful and the good that is happening around me. I must be on the look out for it.
I need to be always on the watch for joy, life, love, and beauty.
What did you see this week that was beautiful or good? Share in the comments! Let’s encourage one another today.
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