Saturday, 18 September 2021

Thanksgiving: Be careful for nothing

SAINT Paul’s words of advice to the Philippians, “Be careful for nothing”, might appear trite in today’s world.

Quite apart from the menace of a pandemic, anticipated calamitous climate change and never-ending conflict between nations, we also find conflict within ourselves.

The elderly worry about their ability to cope day-to-day, the youngsters stress about their future prospects in an uncertain world while the middle aged, quite apart from their own demons, seem to be surrounded by the cares of those that rely on them, both the elderly and the young.

Saint Paul’s exaltation to the Philippians in chapter six continues, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”.

Maybe the pivotal word here is “thanksgiving”.

Even a cursory glance at the news reports from around the world will indicate how many are much worse off than we are ourselves, whether just down the street or in faraway Timbuktu.

True, there are those in our town and surrounding villages who have suffered great loss and torment and I know one or two. Yet the vast majority of us have every reason to be thankful so “thanksgiving” should be the order of the day.

In appreciating the misery and suffering of others unfolding before us in the newspapers or on our screens, being positively thankful for our many blessings may turn our attention away from ourselves to the needs of others.

In fact, there is a great deal of evidence of many who have suffered greatly, yet cast away their own misery and through being a Good Neighbour have found peace, calm and fulfilment.

It was Christ who taught us that God’s commandment was that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.

The current evidence of these many good souls suggests that by following His commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves, we may find the peace and tranquillity that indeed we may really “be careful for nothing”.

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